Two civil rights groups have sued U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on behalf of eight men who say they were tortured by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The lawsuit, filed by Human Rights First and the American Civil Liberties Union, says Mr. Rumsfeld bears "ultimate responsibility" for the injuries the men allegedly suffered in U.S. custody.

The eight men say they were subjected to beatings, sexual humiliation and mock executions, among other forms of abuse.

The human and civil rights groups say Mr. Rumsfeld knew about the abuse by mid-2003 but did nothing to stop it.

The suit, filed in a U.S. federal court in Illinois Tuesday, seeks compensation for the men and a declaration that Mr. Rumsfeld violated U.S. and international law.

U.S. officials have yet to comment on the suit. The U.S. military has been probing allegations of prisoner abuse in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.