Amnesty International has urged the governments of Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia to arrest former US President George W. Bush for crimes under international law.
The globally recognised human rights NGO says it considers that there is enough evidence in the public domain, from US authorities and from George W. Bush himself, to trigger requirements for Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia to investigate his alleged involvement in and responsibility for torture, and to secure his presence during the investigation.
Mr Bush arrived in the region on 1 December and is believed to be staying until 5 December 2011.
“All countries to which George W. Bush travels have an obligation to bring him to justice for his role in torture,” said Matt Pollard, the organisation's Senior Legal Adviser.
Amnesty says it recognizes the value of the former president raising awareness about cervical and breast cancer in Africa, the stated aim of the visit, but that this cannot lessen the damage to the fight against torture caused by allowing someone who has admitted to authorising water-boarding to travel without facing the consequences prescribed by law.
“International law requires that there be no safe haven for those responsible for torture; Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia must seize this opportunity to fulfil their obligations and end the impunity George W. Bush has so far enjoyed,” declared Mr Pollard.
The NGO has written to the Ministers of Justice in each of the respective countries to remind them about their obligations under international law and providing them with the supporting documentation making the case for the investigation of George W. Bush.