Fed court to hear 'landmark torture case' against Rumsfeld

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Published: Monday December 4, 2006

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In a press release issued today, the American Civil Liberties Union announces that a "landmark" case against Donald Rumsfeld will be heard in federal court this week.

The ACLU and another legal rights organization, Human Rights First, are to appear in court here on Friday "to argue that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is directly responsible for the torture and abuse of detainees in U.S. military custody," says the release.

"The hearing will be the first time a federal court will consider whether top U.S. officials can be held legally accountable for the torture scandal in Iraq and Afghanistan," the release continues, adding that the lawsuit was first filed in 2005 "on behalf of nine Iraqi and Afghan former detainees."

The men were reportedly held in U.S. detention where, the ACLU asserts, "they were subjected to abuse, torture ... cruel and degrading treatment, including severe and repeated beatings, cutting with knives, sexual humiliation and assault, mock executions," and threats of death, among other things. "None of the men was ever charged with a crime," the release says, and "all have been released."

The ACLU adds that it has also brought related suits against military officers tied to the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.

More information on the ACLU's case is available here.