Abu Ghraib survivors to get their day in court — RT World News

Two decades after a torture scandal in the United States made headlines, a lawsuit against the military contractor involved will go to trial

Twenty years after reports that the US military was torturing prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, three survivors will finally get a chance to present their claims before a US jury.

A civil lawsuit filed by former inmates at Abu Ghraib prison against the American military contractor they accuse of being responsible for their suffering is scheduled to begin trial Monday in federal court near Washington. The private security firm, CACI International, dragged the case out for 16 years by making more than 20 unsuccessful attempts to have the case dismissed.

CACI, which supplied the investigators who worked at Abu Ghraib, insisted that its employees were not accused of mistreating detainees. The Virginia-based company also said that as a Pentagon contractor, it should be protected by the government's sovereign immunity against torture allegations.

However, the plaintiffs claimed that CACI determined the conditions for their torture by directing or encouraging abuses by military guards, at least in part. “softening” Prisoners for interrogation. The three former detainees are Iraqi civilians who were held at Abu Ghraib until they were eventually released without charges.

The trial will be “An extremely rare opportunity for accountability for the devastating damage done to Iraqis after the 2003 US invasion.” according to statement Earlier this month by the Center for Constitutional Rights, a US group representing the plaintiffs. “In fact, this is the first lawsuit where post-9/11 torture victims in the United States will appear in court.”

The Abu Ghraib scandal first came to public attention in April 2004, when photos of abused prisoners and their smiling American guards were published. At the time, CBS News aired a report describing the abuse and showing American soldiers taunting naked prisoners. Abuses included stacking naked prisoners in pyramids or dragging them with shackles around their necks. Others were threatened with dogs or had their heads covered and tied with electrical wires.

One of the plaintiffs, former Al Jazeera correspondent Salah Al-Ajili, said he was forced to wear women's underwear, was terrorized with dogs, deprived of sleep, and placed in stressful positions that caused him to vomit a black liquid. Another survivor, Suhail Al-Shammari, claimed that he was subjected to beatings, electric shocks and sexual assaults.

CACI claimed that its employees were not in a position to give orders to the military police and that the US government was responsible for determining the conditions at Abu Ghraib. The company has continued to obtain lucrative contracts from the US government over the past two decades, and only low-ranking soldiers have been criminally prosecuted for violations.

Pentagon investigation I found that verbs “Aimless brutality and sadism” She was imprisoned by military police and CIA personnel. Retired US Army Gen. Antonio Taguba, who led the investigation, concluded that at least one CACI investigator should take responsibility for directing military police to determine the circumstances that led to the abuses. Taguba will reportedly testify at the Abu Ghraib trial.

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