Germany War Crimes Trial for Rumsfeld?
November 16, 2006
Center for Constitutional Rights
Today, CCR filed a criminal complaint in Germany under their universal jurisdiction law charging Rumsfeld, Gonzales and other high-ranking officials in the Bush administration with war crimes. The complaint was filed on behalf of 11 former detainees who were victims of beatings, sleep and food deprivation, hooding and sexual abuse in Abu Ghraib, and one detainee at Guantánamo Bay.
Joshua Daniel Hershfield / World Can’t Wait
(November 14, 2006) — An international grouping of lawyers has filed a 220-page lawsuit, calling on German prosecutors to investigate Donald Rumsfeld for sanctioning torture.
The complaint asks Germany's federal prosecutor Monika Harms to open an investigation and criminal prosecution that will examine the responsibility of high ranking US officials in the authorization of war crimes in the context of the so-called "War on Terror." As Secretary of Defense, Rumsfeld has presided over these crimes and many more:
Torture at Abu Ghraib The suit is being brought on behalf of 11 detainees from Abu Ghraib and 1 detainee from Guantanamo Bay. The detainees, under the control of the US military, suffered electric shock, severe beatings, sleep and food deprivation, and sexual abuse.
German law allows the pursuit of war crimes cases regardless of where in the world they occur.
If Donald Rumsfeld is going to be held accountable for authorizing torture and other human rights abuses, we need your help .
Today, CCR filed a criminal complaint in Germany under their universal jurisdiction law charging Rumsfeld, Gonzales and other high-ranking officials in the Bush administration with war crimes .
The complaint was filed on behalf of 11 former detainees who were victims of severe beatings, sleep and food deprivation, hooding and sexual abuse in Abu Ghraib, and one detainee at Guantánamo Bay subjected to torture and abuse there under Rumsfeld’s specific authorization.
By clicking on the letter to the German Prosecutor and link here, you can send ashow your support for justice for torture victims and accountability for perpetrators.
CCR has reviewed new evidence and documentation that lays the responsibility for US torture program directly at Rumsfeld’s feet. Rumsfeld himself authorized severe “special interrogation techniques” and other abusive, unlawful treatment of detainees. Rumsfeld’s resignation last week means that he can no longer claim immunity from international prosecution as a sitting government official.
Germany appears to be the court of last resort for a war crimes prosecution of Rumsfeld because the United States has tried to close the door to accountability. For example, the United States has failed to take any action to investigate high-level involvement in the torture program; Congress passed the Military Commissions Act last month, which tries to shield American officials from being prosecuted for war crimes here; and the United States has refused to join the International Criminal Court and has barred the Iraq from prosecuting US officials in that country.
On the other hand, as a signatory to the treaty establishing the International Criminal Court, German law recognizes the principle of universal jurisdiction: that grave breaches of international law like the US torture program authorized by Rumsfeld, must be investigated and, where called for, prosecuted no matter where the crime was committed or the nationality of those involved. CCR has filed this complaint in Germany because we represent torture victims who have yet to see justice, the truth has yet to be investigated and the United States is evading accountability.
Together we can make a difference. Stand with our plaintiffs who include Nobel Peace Prize winners and the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and tell the German Prosecutor that you support opening an investigation.
With your support, we can show the world community that Americans think torture is immoral and illegal, and that its perpetrators -- wherever they are found -- must be held accountable. Act now.
Vincent Warren is Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights
Der Generalbundesanwalt beim Bundesgerichtshof,
Hiermit erkläre ich meine ausdrückliche Unterstützung für die Strafanzeige des Centers For Constitutional Rights/New York, Federation International pour les Droits de l’Homme/Paris, und RAV gegen Donald Rumsfeld et al., vertreten durch Rechtsanwalt Wolfgang Kaleck in Berlin.
Ich bitte die Bundesanwaltschaft, die Ermittlungen wegen der Vorfälle in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo und andernorts aufzunehmen. Da die USA sich nicht dem internationalen Gerichtshof unterstellen, ist dies die einzige Möglichkeit, dem Recht Geltung zu verschaffen.
I am writing to express my support for the criminal complaint filed against U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, et al., by the Center for Constitutional Rights, the International Federation for Human Rights, the Republican Attorneys Association and others, represented by Wolfgang Kaleck of Berlin, on November 14, 2006. I kindly request that you begin the investigations regarding the incidents at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and others.
Because the US has failed to fully investigate, and because the US is not a member of the International Criminal Court, there is no other forum to turn to in seeking justice and accountability.
For more information, please visit our website at www.ccr-ny.org .
If you would like to support CCR’s important work to stop the Bush administration from operating outside the law, Click here .
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A Trucker’s View from the Road
Kim, long distance trucker and mom, writes about Marine returned form Fallujah, working at a Denny’s in Rollo MO:
In Fallujah, it was like in the Bible,” he began slowly. “When they marked the houses with lamb’s blood, and the Angel of Death flew over and killed the firstborn sons in all the houses that weren’t marked. They marked the houses… and the ones that weren’t marked, they had us go in and open fire and….” He stopped speaking and only made gestures.
“The kids?” asked my co-driver.
The waiter’s words came a little faster now. “If people knew what was really happening over there, they’d rise up and say, ‘bring our kids home NOW!’ If people knew, they wouldn’t stand for it.”
• Debra Sweet, the National Coordinator of The World Can’t Wait – Drive Out the Bush Regime, will be speaking about impeachment with Jerome McDonnell on Worldview, the global affairs program on WBEZ, Chicago public radio, Thursday, November 16, noon to 1 PM. Listen online.
• Stay Tuned for more on Sunday, December 10th, Human Rights and Impeachment Day