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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

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