Former President George W. Bush has canceled a trip to Switzerland amid reports of protests and legal action linked to his administration's handling of foreign detainees.
According to The New York Times, two human rights groups issued a preliminary indictment against Bush on Feb. 7, alleging that he authorized the torture of terrorism suspects during his Presidency. The 42-page document was filed by the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the Berlin-based European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights.
Katherine Gallagher, a senior attorney for CCR, told the media outlet that a formal legal complaint will be filed against Bush if he leaves the United States. The former commander-in-chief has faced scrutiny from human rights advocates following the release of his memoir Decision Points last year, in which he admitted to personally approving the torture technique called waterboarding that simulates drowning.
Bush was scheduled to deliver a speech at the United Israel Appeal fundraiser in Switzerland this week, but the organization canceled the event due to security concerns after international groups threatened to stage large-scale protests at the event.
Bush spokesman David Sherzer expressed regret about the cancellation, but declined to comment on the planned protests, ABC News reported.