Ex Abu Ghraib detainees sue US mercenaries about torture

This video is Part 1 of the film Standard Operating Procedure: about Abu Ghraib torture. Review of that film: here.

From Reuters:

Former Iraqi detainees sue U.S. military contractors

Mon Jun 30, 2008

By Daren Butler

ISTANBUL – Four Iraqi men are suing U.S. military contractors who they say tortured them while they were detained in Abu Ghraib prison, according to lawsuits being filed at U.S. federal courts on Monday.

The lawsuits allege the contractors committed violations of U.S. law, including torture, war crimes and civil conspiracy.

The scandal over the treatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib unleashed a wave of global condemnation against the United States when images of abused prisoners surfaced in 2004.

The four plaintiffs, all later released without charge, described their experiences to Reuters on Monday at an Istanbul hotel, where they periodically meet their U.S. legal team. They gave accounts of beatings, electric shocks and mock executions.

Farmer Suhail Naim Abdullah Al-Shimari, 49, said he was caged, beaten, threatened with dogs and given electric shocks during more than four years in detention. He was released in March without being charged and without any judicial process.

“I lost my house, my family were made homeless and left without a breadwinner. I lost four-and-a-half years of my life and all they did was say sorry,” he told Reuters. …

“This litigation will contribute to the true history of Abu Ghraib. These innocent men were senselessly tortured by U.S. companies that profited from their misery,” said Susan L. Burke, one of the attorneys representing the detainees.

The lawsuits were being filed where the contractors reside. They named CACI International Inc, CACI Premier Technology, L-3 Services Inc and three individual contractors.

The first suit was filed on Monday in Seattle, Washington, and the others were being filed in Maryland, Ohio and Michigan.

CACI provided interrogators at Abu Ghraib and L-3 provided translators at the prison.

Sa’adoon Ali Hameed Al-Ogaidi, a 36-year-old shopkeeper and father of four, described being caged, abused and paraded naked as one of the unregistered “ghost” detainees, hidden for a time from the International Committee of the Red Cross.

“In our Arab culture being stripped naked is one of the worst rights violations. It made me feel ashamed and it has left a deep scar in me,” he told Reuters.

“What I want is for the perpetrators to be brought to justice and punished for what they have done,” he said.

See also here.

US advisers steered Iraqi oil contracts to Western firms: here.

6 thoughts on “Ex Abu Ghraib detainees sue US mercenaries about torture

  1. Area man named in Iraqi-torture lawsuit worked for contractor

    By RUSS ZIMMER • Advocate Reporter • July 2, 2008

    COLUMBUS — A Pataskala man being sued in federal court is accused of torturing an Iraqi man while employed with a contractor at Abu Ghraib prison.

    According to a complaint filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Timothy Dugan allegedly participated in torturing Suhail Najim Abdullah Al Shimari, of Baghdad, Iraq, for two months at the prison facility made infamous four years ago by the publication of photos depicting American military personnel humiliating prisoners.

    Al Shimari, 49, claims during his imprisonment at Abu Ghraib that he was subjected to electric shock, beaten, deprived of food and sleep, threatened with dogs, subjected to extreme temperatures, stripped naked, forced to watch the torture of others and forcibly shaved.

    The filing lists Dugan as living at an apartment complex on South Township Road in Pataskala, but neighbors there said he no longer resides at that address.

    Al Shimari’s attorney, Jennifer Kinsley, said two other individuals, one in California and another in Maryland, also have been sued.

    She identified Steven “Big Steve” Stefanowicz, of Los Angeles, who she claimed instructed CACI employees on torture policy. Dugan worked for CACI, a government contractor that employed Dugan as an interrogator from October 2003 through May 2004, according to the lawsuit.

    “Dugan was an employee who followed the direction of ‘Big Steve,'” Kinsley said Tuesday from Cincinnati.

    It also is alleged military intelligence officers were unable to corral Dugan’s behavior.

    A soldier and a fellow CACI employee made statements to military investigators that accused Dugan of rebuking their criticism of his conduct and threats he made to them after learning of their cooperation with the probe, the complaint alleges.

    Also listed in the complaint are CACI and L-3 Services, which supplies translation services.

    CACI denies all of the allegations contained in the lawsuit, which it calls “malicious and unfounded,” according to a Tuesday press release.

    The company defended its record as a partner with the military in operations in Iraq and noted its cooperation with government inquiries.

    “No CACI employee or former employee has been charged with any misconduct in connection with CACI’s interrogation work in Iraq,” the release reads.

    Kinsley said Al Shimari, who was released without charges in March, is back at his home in Baghdad, reunited with his family and returned to working his farm.

    “His life has been restored to a somewhat degree of normalcy,” she said. “He is working and supporting his family, but the impact of what he went through psychologically lingers for a lifetime.”

    Russ Zimmer can be reached at (740) 328-8548 or razimmer@newarkadvocate.com.



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