Alex Constantine - October 23, 2013
WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- A group of 56 detainees in Iraqi prisons is suing a U.S. company for the abuse they allegedly suffered by employees who served as interpreters.
The Iraqi citizens are suing CACI International and CACI Premier Technology, a U.S. defense contractor that supplied translators at Iraqi prisons after the American invasion in 2003.
The detainees describe being systematically tortured in various ways, including being beaten, having their genitals mutilated and being sexually assaulted, the lawsuit states. Courthouse News Service said one defendant had his tongue cut in half by a CACI interpreter. Another had his genitals placed under a heavy weight, rendering him impotent. Another said he was beaten so badly he's lost partial vision and hearing, the lawsuit alleges.
The lawsuit states CACI managers hid the abuse from their military counterparts.
"CACI translators have admitted, at times under oath, to participating in interrogations where detainees were hit, kept in stress positions until they collapsed, made to do push-ups until they collapsed, kept awake for long periods, exposed to extreme temperatures and choked by the throat," the complaint states. "CACI translators repeatedly bragged to CACI management about how rough they were towards detainees."
It was unclear, though, how far the group would get in the U.S. federal court system. The lawsuit was filed under the Alien Tort Claims Act. The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in June that effectively shields American companies from being sued in courts here by non-citizens.