Friday, October 26, 2007

Pigs of War: Donald Rumsfeld - Human Rights Groups File Torture Suit against Rumsfeld

It certainly looks like Rumsfeld will have a hard time traveling to Europe in the years to come. There have already been war-crimes cases filed against Rumsfeld in Germany (one was dismissed, one is being appealed), in Argentina, Spain and Sweden. Today France and the US have been added to the list:

French, German and US human rights groups have filed a lawsuit in France accusing former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld of torture during the "war on terror."

The International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), the French League for Human Rights (LDH), the US Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and Germany's European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) filed the joint suit before a Paris prosecutor on Thursday.
With the increasing amount of evidence on Rumsfeld's torture practices, these human rights groups actually have a strong case:
In a statement posted on the FIDH website, the groups say that during his time as defense secretary, Rumsfeld authorized interrogation techniques that led to rights abuses in US-run detention centers at Abu Ghraib in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, as well as elsewhere.

The rights groups notably cite three memorandums signed by Rumsfeld between October 2002 and April 2003 "legitimizing the use of torture" including the "hooding" of detainees, sleep deprivation and the use of dogs.The group also has testimony from Janis Karpinski -- the one-time commander of US military prisons in Iraq -- to bolster its claims. more
- Deutsche Welle: Human Rights Groups File Torture Suit against Rumsfeld
- Democracy Now!: On Visit to France, Donald Rumsfeld Hit with Lawsuit for Ordering, Authorizing Torture
- New York Times: Torture Complaint Filed against Rumsfeld
- Wikipedia: Donald Rumsfeld


Raphael Alexander said...

These are all symbolic, and even an unlikelihood of a conviction would probably not convince any country to arrest him. The chutzpah required would be enormous.

Erik Abbink said...

I don't think we need to rule out a conviction. And once convicted it's likely that alleged war criminals (like Donald Rumsfeld) will not travel to countries which have convicted them.

France is a good example, because of their independent judiciary system, one of the things the French are quite "proud". It's not the country (or French government), but the judicial system that will follow the necessary proceedings.

Prosecuted or not, it will bring home the right message; whenever traveling, alleged American war-criminals will continuously be scrutinized and new cases will be filed.

And that's the way it should be.

We'll see how long it will be just "all symbolic", or when the first conviction of an American war-criminal will become "the symbol of the 21st century".

And WHEN the first American is convicted, then let the games begin.

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