For Immediate Release
Abu Ghraib Torture Case Against Private Military Contractor Back in Court
Alexandria, VA - Today, four Iraqi men who were tortured at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison will urge a federal district court to reject attempts by private military contractor CACI Premier Technology, Inc. (CACI) to have their lawsuit for the contractor’s role in the torture dismissed. Center for Constitutional Rights Legal Director Baher Azmy will argue the case on the men’s behalf. The men were subjected to electric shocks, sexual violence, forced nudity, broken bones, and deprivation of oxygen, food, and water. U.S. military investigators found that several CACI interrogators had conspired with U.S. soldiers (who were later court martialed) to have “sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses” committed against Abu Ghraib detainees in order to “soften” them up for interrogations.
The district court’s previous dismissal of the case was overturned last year by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which held that torture survivors could sue a U.S. corporation involved in torture and other war crimes in U.S. courts under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS). CACI now argues that the question of whether it can be held accountable for its established role in the torture is a “political question” unreviewable by the courts. The district court rejected CACI’s initial effort to have the case dismissed as a political question in 2009.
New York Times editorial on the importance of today's hearing: Will Anyone Pay for Abu Ghraib?
Oral argument in Al Shimari v. CACI Premier Technology, Inc.
Friday, February 6, 2015, 10:00am
Albert V. Bryan U.S. Courthouse, 401 Courthouse Square, Alexandria, VA, Room 601
FRIENDS: Now More Than Ever
Independent journalism has become the last firewall against government and corporate lies. Yet, with frightening regularity, independent media sources are losing funding, closing down or being blacked out by Google and Facebook. Never before has independent media been more endangered. If you believe in Common Dreams, if you believe in people-powered independent media, please support us now and help us fight—with truths—against the lies that would smother our democracy. Please help keep Common Dreams alive and growing. Thank you. -- Craig Brown, Co-founder
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.