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American Civil Liberties Union
FEBRUARY 28, 2005
10:15 AM
CONTACT:  American Civil Liberties Union
Emily Whitfield or Paul Silva, 212-549-2666 or, both of the ACLU,
David Danzig of Human Rights First, 212-845-5252 or,
Sean Crowley, 202-478-6128 or 202-550-6524 (cell) or,
Elaine Elinson or Lieff Cabraser, 415-203-4378 or
ACLU and Human Rights First to Sue Top U.S. Official Over Torture Policies; Former Military, Government Officials Join Landmark Lawsuit

WASHINGTON -- February 28 -- News Advisory:

EDITORS: Substantive information in this release is embargoed until Tuesday, March 1, at 12:01 a.m. Dial-in access will be available for reporters at 1-800-733-8619

At a 10:30 a.m. news conference here tomorrow, the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights First (formerly Lawyers Committee for Human Rights), joined by former military and government officials, will announce a lawsuit against a high- ranking U.S. government official on behalf of eight men who were tortured and abused by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The lawsuit will charge that officials at the highest level bear ultimate responsibility for the physical and psychological injuries these men suffered. The men represented in the lawsuit were incarcerated in U.S. detention facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, where they were subjected to torture and other cruel and degrading treatment, including severe and repeated beatings, cutting with knives, sexual humiliation and assault, mock executions, death threats, and restraint in contorted and excruciating positions. None of the men were ever charged with a crime.

Further information about the lawsuit, including background on the clients, legal papers and fact sheets, will be made available at the news conference and online. No advance interviews will be granted.

WHAT: A lawsuit charging a high-ranking U.S. official and others with violation of the U.S. Constitution and international laws prohibiting torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

WHO: Anthony Romero, Executive Director, ACLU; Michael Posner, Executive Director, Human Rights First; Lucas Guttentag, Director, ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project and lead counsel; Admiral John D. Hutson (Ret. USN), former Judge Advocate General of the Navy/Dean, Franklin Pierce Law School; Bill Lann Lee, former Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights; Deborah Pearlstein, Director, U.S. Law and Security Program, Human Rights First; and Steven R. Shapiro, ACLU Legal Director.

WHEN: Tuesday, March 1, 2005, 10:30 a.m. (Eastern)

WHERE: National Press Club (Murrow Room), 529 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC


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