LUSAKA, Zambia (AP) — Zambia has dismissed an international rights group’s call for the arrest on torture charges of former President George W. Bush, who has been touring Africa to raise awareness about cervical and breast cancer.
“On what basis does Amnesty International want us to arrest President Bush?” state media quoted Foreign Affairs Minister Chishimba Kambwili as saying while Bush, his wife and daughters ended their visit to Zambia on Saturday.
Kambwili said Zambia would have considered the request only if it had come from the International Criminal Court acting on behalf of international organizations like the United Nations.
Earlier in the week, Amnesty International said it had asked Tanzania, Zambia and Ethiopia to arrest Bush, “someone who has admitted to authorizing waterboarding.” As president, Bush authorized the interrogation technique that simulates drowning and is viewed as torture by many.
Bush is warmly remembered across Africa for his U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which since 2003 has provided AIDS treatment to millions on the continent hardest hit by the disease.
Bush started his Africa tour in Tanzania. He launched his Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon project Friday in Zambia. The project is aimed at expanding the availability of breast care education and cervical cancer screening and treatment.