For some international human rights activists, justice was served on Friday in Kuala Lumpur court, Malaysia as former U.S. President George W. Bush and former top White House officials were convicted of war crimes related to military operations conducted during Bush’s presidency.
Bush and former U.S. vice president Dick Cheney, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, former Deputy Assistant Attorneys General John Choon Yoo and Jay Bybee, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and former counselors David Addington and William Haynes II were all convicted as war criminals.
The international tribunal charged and convicted the men for torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment of the complainant war crime victims, according to Fairfax, NZ News.
The conviction in Kuala Lumpur was the first of its kind anywhere in the world. The five-panel tribunal delivered a unanimous verdict of guilty.
Digital Journal reported that the trial was put together by the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalize War, a non-governmental organization. The court heard testimony from people who had their fingernails removed by pliers, another who had bare electrical wires attached to him and was electrocuted and hanged on a wall, and a man who was stripped and beaten.
Tribunal president Tan Sri Dato Lamin bin Haji Mohd Yunus Lamin said his group had no power to impose a sentence on those convicted, but said he would recommend that the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission submit this conviction to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, the United Nations, and the Security Council.
He also wants to see the names of the men found guilty to be included in the Commission’s Register of War Criminals and publicized.
Moazzam Begg, a director for human rights group Cageprisoners, was asked about the difference between the Bush and Obama Administrations, and said, according to Foreign Policy Journal, “If President Bush was the President of extra-judicial torture then President Barack Obama is the President of extra judicial killing through drone strikes. Our work has only just begun.”