Entries in War Crimes (2)


Obama Bars Human Rights Violators from Entering the US

Dan Barnes/Getty(WASHINGTON) -- In an effort to strengthen America’s response to mass atrocities, President Obama issued a proclamation Thursday barring human rights violators and persons who commit war crimes from entering the country.

“Before today, the United States did not have an explicit bar to admission on the basis of participation in serious violations of human rights or humanitarian law...This proclamation fills this gap by expanding the grounds for denial of entry into the United States to cover a broader array of recognized violations of international humanitarian law and international criminal law, such as war crimes and crimes against humanity,” a White House fact sheet states.

The president also announced Thursday he is establishing an interagency Atrocities Prevention Board aimed at detecting and elevating early warning signs to better prevent potential atrocities.

The president notes that, “66 years since the Holocaust and 17 years after Rwanda, the United States still lacks a comprehensive policy framework and a corresponding interagency mechanism for preventing and responding to mass atrocities and genocide.”  The board, which will be created within 120 days, will coordinate a “whole-of-government approach to engaging early, proactively, and decisively.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Bush Cans Swiss Trip as Groups Promise Prosecution for War Crimes

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Former President George W. Bush was forced to cancel a planned trip to Switzerland this week over concerns of protests linked to the Bush adminstration's treatment of detainees.

International human rights groups had threatened large-scale demonstrations at the United Israel Appeal fundraiser, where Bush was scheduled as a guest speaker, and called for legal action against Bush for his role in the alleged torture of U.S.-held detainees. The organization called off the event on Friday.

Organizers of the protests wanted participants to rally outside the Geneva hotel where Bush would have appeared and each bring a shoe -- a symbol of disapproval in some parts of the world sometimes thrown at opponents, as Bush experienced at a 2008 press conference in Baghdad.

Activists also planned to file an official criminal complaint against Bush with Swiss prosecutors, nine years after he ordered that the Geneva Conventions would not apply to "enemy combatants" arrested by the U.S. military in Afghanistan or elsewhere around the world.

"Waterboarding is torture, and Bush has admitted, without any sign of remorse, that he approved its use," said Katherine Gallagher, an attorney with the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, which is party to the complaint.

"The reach of the Convention Against Torture is wide -- this case is prepared and will be waiting for him wherever he travels next," she said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio