Mar. 1, 2005

Rumsfeld named in suit alleging torture by U.S. forces in Iraq, Afghanistan

Rumsfeld named in suit alleging torture by U.S. forces in Iraq, Afghanistan

By The Associated Press

03/01/05 WASHINGTON - AP - Two human rights groups filed a lawsuit today against Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on behalf of eight men allegedly tortured by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

'Rumsfeld bears direct responsibility' because he 'personally signed off' on policies guiding prisoner treatment, said American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Anthony Romero.

A number of other lawsuits also are pending against Rumsfeld, military commanders and civilian contractors in the abuse scandal, which broke last spring with the disclosure of photographs showing American military men and women abusing prisoners at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.

At a Washington news conference, the ACLU and Human Rights First said the suit was filed in Rumsfeld's home state of Illinois and alleged the eight men suffered physical and psychological injuries while incarcerated in U.S. detention facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It alleged that they were subjected to torture and other cruel and degrading treatment while there, including severe and repeated beatings, cutting with knives, sexual humiliation and assault, mock executions, death threats, and restraint in contorted and excruciating positions.

Copyright © 2005, The Associated Press "

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