For Immediate Release
U.S. Courts Can Hear Cases of Torture at Abu Ghraib, Experts Argue
Retired Military Officers, UN Special Rapporteurs, Survivors of Human Rights Violations, Scholars Urge Court to Allow Abu Ghraib Contractor Case to Go Forward
Richmond, VA - Today, in a lawsuit brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and co-counsel on behalf of four Iraqi men who were tortured at Abu Ghraib, six amici parties urged the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate the case, which was dismissed by the district court in June. Plaintiffs in the case, Al Shimari v. CACI International Inc., brought claims including torture and war crimes under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) against private contractor CACI Premier Technology, Inc. (“CACI”), which U.S. military investigators concluded participated in torture, the “sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses” of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. In dismissing the torture victims’ claims, the district judge did not suggest that the plaintiffs’ allegations were unfounded, but instead ruled that the recent Supreme Court decision in Kiobel v. Shell/Royal Dutch Petroleum barred lawsuits based on conduct that occurred outside the U.S.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.