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

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid