Bad News For Accountability For Detainee Abuse At Abu Ghraib

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By Rebecca DeWinter-Schmitt, Amnesty’s Business & Human Rights Group

Earlier this week, we reported on this blog that the possibility of a civil remedy for the detainees abused by Titan (L3) and CACI employees at Abu Ghraib was denied when the Supreme Court refused to allow the suit against the two companies to move forward.

The Center for Constitutional Rights had brought the lawsuit on behalf of 250 victims of abuse using the Alien Tort Statute, a key legal tool in ensuring civil remedy to victims of corporate human rights violations committed overseas.

Now, an opportunity for criminal justice for those abused by Titan (L3) and CACI employees has also been squandered. Today, the Washington Post reports that Special Prosecutor John Durham has closed his investigation of 101 cases of CIA interrogators and contractors alleged participation in detainee abuse.

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Holding Private Security Contractors Accountable for Human Rights Abuses

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By Rebecca DeWinter-Schmitt, Amnesty’s Business & Human Rights Group

Justin Cannon and Christopher Drotleff were working for private security company Blackwater (now known as Xe) when they were accused of killing two civilians and injuring two others after opening fire on a vehicle in Afghanistan in May 2009. Romal Mohammad Naiem, who was a passenger in the car, which had approached the scene of a traffic accident involving two Xe vehicles and was leaving when it was repeatedly shot upon, was killed.

© Scott Olson/Getty Images

On Monday, Cannon was given a 30-month sentence for involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Naiem. Drotleff, his partner, received a 37-month sentence earlier this month.

According to the Virginian-Pilot, they are the first Xe contractors to be punished for killing a civilian in a conflict zone. (Four more Xe contractors still face manslaughter charges for the Nisour Square shootings that resulted in the death of 17 civilians.)

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