Zambia won't arrest Bush during visit

2011-12-03 12:23

Lusaka - Zambia will not arrest former US president George W Bush during his African tour for violating international torture laws, the foreign minister said on Saturday.

Rights group Amnesty International on Thursday urged Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia to arrest Bush during the five-day tour to promote efforts to fight diseases like cancer, Aids and malaria.

"On what basis does Amnesty International want us to arrest Mr Bush? Tell them to hang, and also please ask them to create their own country and wait for Mr Bush to visit their country so that they can arrest him to suit their wish and not here in Zambia," Foreign Minister Chishimba Kambwili told AFP.

Bush is in Zambia on the second stop of the tour, having arrived in Tanzania on Thursday.

Torture

Kambwili said Zambia would only arrest Bush if the International Criminal Court (ICC) and other international organisations such as the United Nations asked the southern African country's government to do so.

Amnesty made a similar appeal to Canada in October when Bush visited British Columbia for an economic summit.

The group argued that Bush authorised the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" and "waterboarding" on detainees held in secret by the Central Intelligence Agency between 2002 and 2009.

Amnesty's case relies on the public record, US documents accessed through freedom of information requests, Bush's own memoir and a Red Cross report critical of the United States' war on terror policies.

The group cites several instances of alleged torture of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, naval facility, in Afghanistan and in Iraq by the US military.

Read more on:    george w bush  |  zambia  |  southern africa
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