Imagine you're a security contractor dispatched to Iraq - a place where your greatest fear is being hit by a roadside bomb. But mere days after you arrive, you are gang raped by co-workers... and then pressured by company management to "get over it" or lose your job.
This is the story of 23-year-old American Jamie Leigh Jones, who recently recounted her personal horror in Iraq two years ago as an employee of KBR, Halliburton's former subsidiary, before a House subcommittee.
There are an estimated 180,000 private contractors working in Iraq, yet they seem to operate above the law both in Iraq and the U.S. This culture of impunity allows abuse and killings to thrive - with little recourse for the victims. Amnesty International is working to stop this - and we need your help to succeed.
It's been more than 4 years since the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. Even though the Army's internal reports indicated contractor involvement in the abuses and the Department of Justice (DOJ) established a "Detainee Abuse Task Force" in 2004, it has not prosecuted a single contractor for abuses in Iraq to date. When pressed for answers, DOJ has simply said these cases remain "open" and that investigations are continuing.
Through our new "Counter Terror with Justice" campaign, Amnesty is working to reverse these injustices that further denigrate our nation's reputation around the world. All companies and contractors have an obligation to respect human rights at home and abroad. And the business community as a whole has a wider responsibility - moral and legal - to use its influence to promote respect for human rights.
With the stakes growing higher every day, we must move quickly to stop these egregious abuses in the "war on terror." Please consider making a gift today to help Amnesty to:
- Pressure the Justice Department to expedite investigations and prosecute cases of clear human rights violations by contractors.
- Pressure the Senate to pass a loophole-free version of the Security Contractor Accountability Act, a bill that would ensure that private military and security contractors are not above the law. A similar bill has already passed in the House, but we need your help to keep up the momentum!
- Drive increased media and public attention to the U.S.'s illegal practices in the war on terror. Our protests on January 11th generated huge TV and print media coverage around the world!
Thank you for your commitment to creating a more just and peaceful world.
Amnesty International USA