Accountability for U.S. Torture: Switzerland

At a Glance

Date Filed: 

February 7, 2011

Current Status 

This complaint is now a part of a larger effort, used to model the “Preliminary Bush Torture Indictment”, a document that presents fundamental aspects of the case against George W. Bush, and a legal analysis of his liability for torture along with responses to anticipated defenses to ensure that wherever he travels, the mechanisms for justice and accountability can be brought to bear against Bush.

Case Description 

One hundred and fifty-five countries, including Switzerland and the United States, are party to the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT). Those countries have committed to investigating, prosecuting and punishing torturers. This action is brought under the principle of universal jurisdiction. (See also Accountability for U.S. Torture: France; Accountability for U.S. Torture: Canada; Accountability for U.S. Torture: Germany; and Accountability for U.S. Torture: Spain.)

On February 7, 2011, two torture victims were to have filed criminal complaints for torture against former president George W. Bush in Geneva. He was due to speak at an event there on February 12th.  But, on the eve of the filing, the former president cancelled his trip. 

 Swiss law requires the presence of the alleged torturer on Swiss soil before a preliminary investigation can be begin.  The complaints could not be filed after Bush cancelled, as the basis for jurisdiction no longer existed.

Case Timeline

February 7, 2011
CCR publicly releases the "Preliminary Bush Torture Indictment" and Affirmations of Global Support for the Bush Investigation and Prosecution
February 7, 2011
CCR publicly releases the "Preliminary Bush Torture Indictment" and Affirmations of Global Support for the Bush Investigation and Prosecution
This document presents fundamental aspects of the case against George W. Bush for torture, and a legal analysis of his liability for torture and a response to some anticipated defenses. This document will be updated as developments warrant. The exhibit list contains references to more than 2,500 pages of supporting material. More than 60 human rights organizations and individuals signed a Letter of Denunciation in support of the complaints to be filed against Bush.