Sophia's Peace Work

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

A Visit from Haji Ali

Haji Ali, who is in Amman for a few weeks, came over to my apartment a few nights ago with my housemate and a journalist for dinner.

This is what my friends at the Christian Peacemaker Team had to say about Haji Ali:
Haji Ali is a staff person for human rights organization called Victims of American Occupation Prison Association. He says he is the person in the famous picture from Abu Ghraib Prison, a hooded detainee standing on a stool with electrical wires attached to his body.

A big man, who my housemate said is part of a large tribe or family in the Abu Ghraib area west of Baghdad, Haji Ali's only visible, physical problem is a crippled left hand which he claims was crushed repeatedly by his prison keepers.

With the help of some U.S. lawyers, Haji Ali, along with several other detainees who say they were tortured at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, is pursuing a legal claim against the following corporations: TITAN CORPORATION,a Delaware Corporation; CACI INTERNATIONAL INC., a Delaware Corporation; CACI INCORPORATED Ð FEDERAL, a Delaware Corporation; and CACI N.V., a Netherlands corporation. These companies where hired under contract by the U.S. military to run operations and interrogations at detention facilities in Abu Ghraib.

Here are the specific allegations made in the claim against these companies by Haji Ali.

On October 13, 2003, Plaintiff “Haji” Ali Shallal Abass was arrested without cause by United States military forces and held in custody. He was subsequently taken to the Abu Ghraib prison where Defendants were performing detention and interrogation services for the United States.

Until his release in early January, 2004, Mr. Abass was detained, interrogated, and physically abused by the Defendants and/or others while under the custody and control of the Defendants.

During the course of said detention, interrogation, and physical abuse, the Defendants and/or others tortured Mr. Abass as follows:

(a)By beating him;
(b)By depriving him of food and water;
(c)By hanging him by his injured arm from a steel rail, with his feet off the floor;
(d)By subjecting him to long periods of excessive noise;
(e)By forcing him to be naked throughout most of his time in custody;
(f)By holding a pistol (which, unknown to him, was unloaded) against his head and pulling the trigger;
(g)By repeated assaults upon his already broken left hand, thereby exacerbating his condition and probably causing him to be permanently disabled;
(h)By threatening to attack him with dogs; and
(i)By prolonged exposure to cold.

You can find more information on this claim at Find Law


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