News / USA

US Firm Pays Millions to Settle Iraqi Detainee Suit

This image obtained by The Associated Press shows Sgt. Michael Smith, left, with his dog, watching a detainee at an unspecified date in 2003 at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, Iraq.
This image obtained by The Associated Press shows Sgt. Michael Smith, left, with his dog, watching a detainee at an unspecified date in 2003 at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, Iraq.
VOA News
A U.S. defense contractor that helped detain and interrogate prisoners during the Iraq war has paid more than $5 million to settle a lawsuit brought by former detainees at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and other facilities.

In court filings, the 72 plaintiffs alleged that employees of L-3 Services tortured and abused them.  They said the tactics included beatings, forced nudity, exposure to extreme temperatures and keeping detainees awake for long hours.

The company, now called Engility Corporation, asked for the case to be dismissed, arguing its personnel were part of "occupying forces" and thus not subject to civil lawsuits.  A federal court denied the motion in 2010, and last year an appeals court dismissed the company's bid to overturn the decision.

The plaintiffs accepted a $5.28 million payment in October to resolve the case.

Details of the settlement appeared in a quarterly earnings report Engility filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in November.

Photographs first published in 2004 revealed abuses at Abu Ghraib, including images of naked detainees stacked in a pyramid.  The abuses ignited a global outrage, and led to the conviction of eleven U.S. military personnel.

  • This image obtained by The Associated Press shows an unidentified detainee standing on a box with a bag on his head and wires attatched to him in late 2003 at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, Iraq.
  • This is image obtained by The Associated Press shows Pfc. Lynndie England holding a leash attached to a detainee in late 2003 at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, Iraq.
  • This image obtained by The Associated Press shows Sgt. Michael Smith, left, Sgt. Santos Cardona, second right, detainee Mohammed Bollendia and Pvt. Ivan L. Frederick II, right, during an incident at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, Iraq on December 12, 2003.
  • This image obtained by The Associated Press shows Cpl. Charles A. Graner Jr. appearing to punch one of several handcuffed detainees lying on the floor in late 2003 at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, Iraq.

The issue of American companies being prosecuted for human rights violations committed in other countries has reached the U.S. Supreme Court.  The court began its latest term in October by hearing a case involving 12 Nigerians who sued Royal Dutch Petroleum, accusing the company of complicity in torture, executions and other violations in Nigeria.

The court is weighing whether a 1789 law called the Alien Tort Statute allows such suits.  It has yet to issue a ruling.

Engility filed a so-called "friend of the court" brief in the case, citing its own court battles in arguing that companies are not subject to claims under the Alien Tort Statue for violations committed abroad.

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to an enhancement or regression of democracy on the Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: D.C.Burkland from: MI
February 02, 2013 4:36 PM
It's our own Government that is contracting these people.SHAME!


by: HDS26234 from: California
January 13, 2013 9:38 PM
Yes, serves this company well, for doing this evil thing!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid