Arrest George W. Bush next week, says Amnesty International

Photo courtesy of Eric Draper

Amnesty International wants to arrest former U.S. president George W. Bush next week when he visits Surrey, B.C. for an economic conference.

The high-profile human rights group wants Bush investigated for war crimes and torture.

Last month, similar groups and politicians called for the arrest of former U.S. vice president Dick Cheney when he visited the Vancouver Club.

The Canadian Press has the story:

OTTAWA - Amnesty International wants the federal government to arrest former U.S. president George W. Bush when he visits British Columbia next week. The rights body said both Canadian and international law require Canada to detain Bush and investigate him for war crimes and torture.

"It is incumbent upon Canadian officials to investigate, arrest and prosecute former president Bush for torture when he arrives in Canada a week tomorrow,'' said Alex Neve, Amnesty Canada's secretary general.

Bush and former president Bill Clinton are scheduled to attend an economic conference in Surrey, B.C. next week.

Neve said many will argue that arresting Bush is unrealistic because the United States is a close and powerful ally or that the crisis after 9-11 required extraordinary measures.

"None of those arguments justify inaction under international law,'' he said. Neve conceded that arresting a former president would likely cause tension with the United States, but "taking a principled step merits that sort of strain.''

Neve said Bush admitted in his memoirs that he authorized the use of torture against terror suspects.

American authorities used a variety of torture methods, including water boarding, beatings and sleep deprivation, Neve said. The Bush administration used euphemisms such as "enhanced interrogation techniques,'' but these methods constituted torture.

"All of this was authorized and condoned and put in place through his own repeated decisions.'' Neve said the international arm of Amnesty sent a lengthy brief to Justice Minister Rob Nicholson outlining the government's responsibilities under international law and urging him to act.

"This is something the entire global movement stands behind,'' Neve said.

Nicholson's office did not respond to a call for comment on Amnesty's demand.

More in News

Victoria Police Chief, Frank Elsner

Another investigation launched into embattled Victoria police chief

Another investigation has been launched into the actions of Victoria's police chief amid new allegations that he attempted to influence witnesses and may have deleted information needed for...
Amanda Todd killed herself after nude photos of her were posted online

Dutch court refuses request for delay from accused in Amanda Todd case

A Dutch court has refused to grant a third delay in the trial of a man accused of making child pornography and online extortion linked to the suicide of a British Columbia teenager Amanda Todd. A...
Anthony Hopkins in "Blackway."

New Anthony Hopkins thriller to premiere at smalltown B.C. drive-in

A major motion picture shot in British Columbia will have it's premiere showing at a small Okanagan community's drive-in theatre. Blackway will hit theatres across North America on June 10, a week...
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.