During his presidential mandate in the United States, George W. Bush authorized the CIA, in a directive dated September 17, 2001, to abduct suspected terrorists and hold them in secret detention centers, mainly in Guantanamo Bay, but also in Afghanistan, Thailand, Poland and Rumania. At these centers, Mr Bush authorized the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques”, such as waterboarding.
These very serious acts prompted the Center for Constitutional Rights and the ECCHR to act, with legal assistance from TRIAL International. In February 2011, for Mr Bush’s planned trip to Geneva to attend a conference, these NGOs prepared a criminal complaint for submission to the Canton of Geneva’s Public Prosecutor. Several victims joined the complaint, one of whom was a witness who stated that he had been tortured more than 80 times while detained in Guantanamo Bay.
Seemingly concerned by this action, Mr Bush eventually cancelled his visit and the criminal complaint was not filed. He has not been to Switzerland since then.