On Friday, in Paris, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld fled a talk sponsored by Foreign Policy magazine through a side door connecting to the U.S. embassy to avoid journalists and human rights attorneys waiting for him outside. Four human rights groups filed charges against Rumsfeld for his role in ordering and authorizing torture in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. They filed similar charges against Rumsfeld when he was in Germany in 2004.
“Rumsfeld must understand that he has no place to hide,” said the president of the Center for Constitutional Rights Michael Ratner. “A torturer is an enemy of all humankind.”
The complaint, filed by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) along with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), and the French League for Human Rights, was with the Paris Prosecutor before the “Court of First Instance” (Tribunal de Grande Instance).
Charges are brought under the 1984 Convention against Torture, ratified by both the United States and France, which has been used in France in previous torture cases.
The human rights organizations say French courts have an obligation under the Convention against Torture to prosecute individuals responsible for acts of torture if they are present on French territory.
To read to full press release, click here.
Here’s the complaint (currently only available in French).