May 12, 2014 – Today, in response to George W. Bush’s arrival in Toronto, Canada, for a fundraiser with Bill Clinton, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Canadian Centre for International Justice issued the following statement:
By allowing Bush to enter its territory, Canada is undermining the UN Convention Against Torture, which was adopted to ensure there are no safe havens for torturers. Canada is already under review by a UN committee for failing to take action when Bush visited in 2011. During that visit, four men brought forward claims of torture against Bush for the treatment they endured while detained at Guantánamo and in Afghanistan. Canadian law criminalizes torture wherever it occurs and Canada’s obligations under the Convention Against Torture make it clear that if a known torturer sets foot in the country, the government must investigate and prosecute if appropriate. Evidence of Bush’s role in authorizing torture in Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Guantánamo, and CIA black sites has been in the public record for years and Bush himself has admitted to his involvement. Canada is flouting the law by turning a blind eye to Bush’s visit.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.