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Sunday, August 1, 2010
Iraqis allowed to sue U.S. contractors
A U.S. court has given the go-ahead for a lawsuit filed by former Abu Ghraib inmates in Iraq against a Virginia-based military contractor L-3 Services involved in their torture.
Seventy-two former Iraqi prisoners have alleged in their lawsuit that while kept in Abu Ghraib between 2003 and 2008, they were tortured at the hands of interrogators working for L-3 Services.
U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte ruled on Friday that the former Iraqi prisoners are open to proceed with their case against the L-3 Services, saying that the alleged actions by the company “arguably violated the laws of war such that they are not immune from suit under the laws of war.”
“Further, the suit does not raise a political question since this is a suit against private actors which does not implicate the separation of powers issues which the political question doctrine is meant to protect,” the judge added, according to AFP.
In their lawsuit, former Iraqi inmates allege that they were beaten, tortured, sexually assaulted and underwent electric shocks, mock executions and hanging from their feet, all conducted by L-3 Service members.
The Iraqis were all released without being charged.
Plaintiff lawyer Susan Burke said that as a result of the ruling “these innocent men are a step closer to completing the true history of the infamous Abu Ghraib prison. These men were senselessly tortured by a company that profited from their misery.”
The images of Iraqi detainees being beaten and sexually humiliated at the Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq became a touchstone for worldwide rage against the United States in the spring of 2004.
The torture images depicted proud U.S. soldiers posing with battered corpses and naked, injured prisoners.
(Source: Press TV)