Former President George W. Bush was forced to cancel a planned trip to Switzerland this week over concerns of protests linked to the Bush adminstration’s treatment of detainees.
International human rights groups had threatened large-scale demonstrations at the United Israel Appeal fundraiser, where Bush was scheduled as a guest speaker, and called for legal action against Bush for his role in the alleged torture of U.S.-held detainees. The organization called off the event on Friday.
Organizers of the protests wanted participants to rally outside the Geneva hotel where Bush would have appeared and each bring a shoe — a symbol of disapproval in some parts of the world sometimes thrown at opponents, as Bush experienced at a 2008 press conference in Baghdad.
Activists also planned to file an official criminal complaint against Bush with Swiss prosecutors, nine years after he ordered that the Geneva Conventions would not apply to “enemy combatants” arrested by the U.S. military in Afghanistan or elsewhere around the world.