Thursday, July 14, 2011

HRW urges criminal probe of Bush

From left to right: the former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush, Vice President of the former US government Dick Cheney.

Source: Press TV

An American human rights organization has called for a criminal investigation of the former US administration officials over their authorization of torture practices against terror suspects.

In a report released on Tuesday, the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged the current US administration and foreign governments to prosecute the former President George W. Bush and some of his top officials over crimes such as the use of torture, abduction and other forms of prisoner mistreatment, The Guardian reported.

"The road to the violations … began within days of the September 11, 2001 attacks by al-Qaeda on New York and Washington, D.C, when the Bush administration began crafting a new set of policies, procedures, and practices for detainees captured in military and counter terrorism operations outside the United States," the report says, pointing to such examples of torture as water boarding and secret rendition.

Titled "Getting Away With Torture: The Bush Administration and Mistreatment of Detainees,” the document also implicates Bush's Vice President Dick Cheney, the former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and the ex-CIA chief George Tenet in illegal practices against detainees.

HRW has stressed the necessity of the probe, saying that prosecutions are required "if the US hopes to wipe away the stain of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo and reaffirm the primacy of the rule of law".

Reed Brody, the report author, has also slammed Obama, and pointed out, "It's become abundantly clear that there is no longer any movement on the part of the Obama administration to live up to its responsibilities to investigate these cases when the evidence just keeps piling up.”

In January 2009, President Barack Obama signed a number of executive orders purporting to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and end Bush's abusive practices. However, Guantanamo still remains open and many say Obama's orders still permit inhumane interrogation practices due to its loopholes.

The organization has warned the US government that its failure to scrutinize the Bush-era abuses will amount to violation of the UN Convention against Torture.

Some 27,000 detainees are suspected to have been held by the US in secret prisons around the world, including in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Island of Diego Garcia (Indian Ocean), Jordan and aboard US amphibious assault ships.

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