Common Dreams NewsCenter

We Can't Do It Without You!

Home | About Us | Donate | Signup | Archives | Search

Home > Progressive Community > NewsWire > For Immediate Release
Printer Friendly Version E-Mail This Article
Amnesty International: Human Rights Abuses Go Unpunished as Civilian Contractors Escape Accountability in Iraq

SEPTEMBER 18, 2007
3:17 PM

CONTACT:  Amnesty International
Lauren Mendoza
(202) 637-5018

Human Rights Abuses Go Unpunished as Civilian Contractors Escape Accountability in Iraq, Says Amnesty International USA
WASHINGTON - September 18 - Amnesty International USA Business and Human Rights Program Director Mila Rosenthal issued the following statement in response to media reports on the Iraqi government’s decision to ban Blackwater USA from working in the country:

“The banning of Blackwater by Iraq further highlights why Congress needs to act now to ensure that U.S. contractor employees are held legally responsible for criminal acts. Amnesty International knows that contractor personnel implicated in serious violent incidents have been spirited out of theater by their employers before a full investigation could be conducted, even when there were credible allegations of murder of innocent civilians. If one of the purposes for United States involvement in Iraq is to help establish the rule of law, U.S. contract employees should not be allowed to avoid that very principle.

Well-established systems exist for holding military personnel responsible for criminal activity. When the U.S. military deploys, it takes with it a code of law and the means and will to enforce it. Thus far, civilian contractors have escaped such clear, applicable and enforceable legal procedures. This means that victims have no access to justice, and human rights abuses go unpunished.

Rep. David Price (NC) and Sen. Barack Obama (IL) have introduced comprehensive bills in the House and Senate to correct the lack of accountability of civilian contractors. Congress should act now on this legislation.”


Printer Friendly Version E-Mail This Article
Common Dreams NewsCenter is a non-profit news service
providing breaking news and views for the Progressive Community.

The press release posted here has been provided to Common Dreams NewsWire by one of the many progressive organizations who make up America's Progressive Community. If you wish to comment on this press release or would like more information, please contact the organization directly.
*all times Eastern US (GMT-5:00)

Making News?
Read our Guidelines for Submitting News Releases is an Internet-based progressive news and grassroots activism organization, founded in 1997.
We are a nonprofit, progressive, independent and nonpartisan organization.

Home | About Us | Donate | Signup | Archives | Search

To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.