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

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers 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.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
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 Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
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.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

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