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article imageWe will not arrest Bush, says Zambian foreign minister

By JohnThomas Didymus     Dec 4, 2011 in World
Lusaka - Zambia has rejected calls by Amnesty International for arrest of former U.S. president George W. Bush, on tour of three African countries, for alleged human rights violations during his tenure as president of the U.S..
Foreign Affairs Minister of Zambia Chishimba Kambwili, said his country will not arrest Bush on Amnesty International's orders. Only the International Criminal Court (ICC) can call for an international arrest, the Zambian foreign minister said.
George Bush, his wife and daughters, have been touring Africa to raise cancer awareness. The tour of three African states, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia, ended on Saturday.
Reuters reports the human rights group had called for arrest of George Bush because during his tenure as President of the United States, he authorized the use of an interrogation technique called waterboarding that Amnesty and other human rights groups consider torture.
Digital Journal reports human rights groups and experts in human rights issues say because torture is banned by the international Convention on Torture, there are strong legal grounds for action against Bush while he is visiting countries that have ratified the international treaty banning torture.
Amnesty's call for Bush's arrest, according to Reuters, was issued by senior legal adviser of the organization Matt Pollard. The statement said:
"International law requires that there be no safe haven for those responsible for torture; Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia must seize this opportunity to fulfill their obligations and end the impunity George W. Bush has so far enjoyed."
This is not the first time international rights groups are calling for arrest of George Bush while on foreign trips. Digital Journal reported that when Bush visited Canada in October, Amnesty International called on Canada to "fulfill its obligation under international law" and arrest the former U.S. president.
Digital Journal also reported that Bush canceled a visit to Switzerland because of threat of legal action against him over the allegations of torture. Switzerland and the U.S., according to Digital Journal, are "among 147 countries to have ratified the 1987 treatyā€¯ banning use of torture in interrogation.
Bush has, however, in the past, defended his use of waterboarding torture (said to simulate the sensation of drowning), saying it was necessary measure to prevent repeat of the September 11 attacks on the United States.
More about Zambia, George bush, Amnesty international
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