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For Immediate Release

Bush Cancels Trip to Switzerland Amid Calls for Prosecution: PHR Applauds Efforts for Justice

Cambridge, Mass - 02/07/2011

PHR today expressed support for the Center for Constitutional Rights' (CCR) efforts to file two criminal complaints against Former President George W. Bush. The complaints request the General Prosecutor of the Canton of Geneva to open a preliminary investigation and possible prosecution against Bush for his sanction of the torture of terrorism suspects, which the complaints allege were in violation of the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT).

Following widespread support of the CCR’s efforts, President Bush has cancelled his upcoming trip to Switzerland.

"The cancellation of President Bush’s trip to Switzerland demonstrates that the international human rights community has a voice in this process and that our efforts to call for justice and accountability are not falling on deaf ears," said Frank Donaghue, CEO of Physicians for Human Rights. "As a next step, we must demand accountability at home. Right now President Bush can avoid prosecution by avoiding Switzerland. We need the same outcry on our own soil so that there is no refuge from justice for those who sanctioned torture."

PHR has a long history of calling for the accountability and independent investigation of all officials involved in the authorization and implementation of torture and unethical human experimentation. Most recently, PHR released Experiments in Torture, a comprehensive investigation of health professionals' involvement in the CIA's "enhanced" interrogation program (EIP), which uncovered evidence that the Bush administration conducted illegal and unethical human experimentation and research on detainees in CIA custody.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is an independent organization that uses medicine and science to stop mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. We are supported by the expertise and passion of health professionals and concerned citizens alike.

Since 1986, PHR has conducted investigations in more than 40 countries around the world, including Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, the United States, the former Yugoslavia, and Zimbabwe.

  • 1986 — Led investigations of torture in Chile gaining freedom for heroic doctors there
  • 1988 — First to document the Iraqi use of chemical weapons on Kurds providing               evidence for prosecution of war criminals
  • 1996 — Exhumed mass graves in the Balkans and Rwanda to provide evidence for               International Criminal Tribunals
  • 1997 — Shared the Nobel Peace Prize for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines
  • 2003 — Warned US Policymakers on health and human rights conditions prior to and               during the invasion of Iraq
  • 2004 — Documented genocide and sexual violence in Darfur in support of international               prosecutions
  • 2010 — Investigated the epidemic of violence spread by Burma’s military junta
  • 2011 — Championed the principle of noninterference with medical services in times of               armed conflict and civil unrest during the Arab Spring
  • 2012 — Trained doctors, lawyers, police, and judges in the Democratic Republic of the               Congo, Kenya, and Syria on the proper collection of evidence in sexual               violence cases
  • 2013 — Won first prize in the Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention with MediCapt, our               mobile app that documents evidence of torture and sexual violence

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