BAGHDAD / YNews
After a decade on Abu Ghraib prison scandal in Iraq, a U.S. appeals court reinstated a lawsuit accusing the employees of a contractor company with the defense affairs of torturing detainees at the prison.
The company “CACI” based in Arlington (Virginia) is accused of abusing and torturing Iraqi detainees at the prison while it was subject to the U.S. administration.
The plaintiffs in the case are four Iraqi detainees and the case was submitted by the Center for Constitutional Rights on their behalf.
The prison in western Baghdad, was transformed to be a negative symbol of the U.S. invasion after the leak of information and pictures about the abuses committed by American soldiers in this place.
The majority of the violations were committed in late 2003, when “CACI” workers worked in the prison, according to the lawsuit, which date back to the year 2008.
The civil servants accused the company to encourage American soldiers on the infringement of the detainees in preparation for interrogation.
The company “3 Services Incorporated” (which is now a subsidiary of “Angillete Holdings”) and is also accused in the case, agreed last year to pay five million dollars for the 72 Iraqis who have been subjected to bad treatment in detention.
Criminal charges were filed against 22 ordinary guards, including the reserve soldier “Lynndie England”, who was photographed smiling beside naked detainees, who were subjected to sexual exploitation. England was released with terms in 2007.
The Court of Appeal considered that the former court erred when concluded that it does not have the authority to hear the case because the attacks took place in abroad. The case against the “CACI” was ruled out in 2013.
The appeals court said that the plaintiffs’ claims are affecting and pertaining to U.S. soil enough to overlook the assumption of authorities abroad.”
It considered that the company could be held responsible in U.S. courts under the clause in the U.S. law that allows non U.S. citizens to sue in front of U.S. courts about incidents that occurred outside the United States, including human rights abuses.
Baher Azmy, plaintiffs’ counsel said that “today’s ruling proves that U.S. institutions do not escape from the responsibility of torture and war crimes, and that the accountability of American bodies on human rights abuses reinforces this state relation with the international community”.
CACI said that the majority of the alleged violations had the approval of the Minister of Defense at that time Donald Rumsfeld and were included within the rules of military commanders at Abu Ghraib prison, according to documents submitted to the court.
In June 2011, the Supreme Court refused to consider a lawsuit filed by 250 former Iraqi detainees against “CACI” and “Titan Corporation,” a private contracted company that was providing other contracting services to U.S. forces at Abu Ghraib.