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拉姆斯菲尔德被诉战争罪
[ 2006-11-15 09:22 ]

一个国际律师组织在德国提出诉讼,矛头指向即将离任的美国国防部长唐纳德·拉姆斯菲尔德及其他数名美方高官,指认他们对美军虐囚事件负有责任,犯有战争罪。 律师们以12名曾在伊拉克阿布格莱布监狱遭受虐待的囚犯之名控告拉姆斯菲尔德,称他“指挥并默许虐囚”。 提起诉讼的律师称,被告们“指挥、协助或教唆”战争罪行,或是“作为政府高官或军队指挥官,没能制止下属或对下属作出惩处”。这些都是德国法律明文规定属于战争罪行的行为。

 

 

US President George W. Bush with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld after Bush announced Rumsfeld's replacement on November 8, 2006. Civil rights groups filed a suit with German prosecutors on Tuesday seeking war crimes charges against Rumsfeld for alleged abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo prisons. [Reuters]

Lawyers for inmates of Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and Guantanamo Bay asked German prosecutors Tuesday to open a war crimes investigation of outgoing US Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other US officials for their alleged roles in abuse at the detention centers.

Although the lawyers who filed the lawsuit acknowledged while there was little chance of seeing Rumsfeld in a German jail, the point was simply to increase the pressure on top brass they say are culpable. German federal prosecutors said they would examine the case.

"We are not expecting that Rumsfeld will appear in a court, but we are hoping investigators will begin looking into the case," said Wolfgang Kaleck, a German lawyer involved in the suit.

The 220-page lawsuit, which also names 13 other US officials, was sent to federal prosecutors under a German law that allows the prosecution of war crimes regardless of where they were committed. It alleges that Rumsfeld personally ordered and condoned torture.

Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, said US officials had not seen the complaint, but said media reports suggested it was "frivolous."

"Abu Ghraib is something that the US government has investigated very thoroughly," Whitman said, noting more than a dozen probes as well as congressional hearings. "The appropriate individuals have been held accountable."

There have been 11 convictions and about a dozen courts-martial in the United States related to Abu Ghraib.

The suit is brought on behalf of 12 alleged torture victims - 11 Iraqis held at Abu Ghraib and Mohamad al-Qahtani, a Saudi being held at the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who has been identified by the US as a would-be participant in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Captured in December 2001 along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, al-Qahtani would not crack under normal questioning, so Rumsfeld approved harsher methods, according to the testimony before Congress.

After FBI agents raised concerns, military investigators began reviewing the case and in July 2005 said they confirmed abusive and degrading treatment that included forcing al-Qahtani to wear a bra, dance with another man, stand naked in front of women, and behave like a dog. Still, the Pentagon determined "no torture occurred."

German prosecutors already declined to investigate a more limited lawsuit in 2005, arguing that it was up to the US to hold any inquiry and that there were no indications US authorities or courts would refrain from doing so.

Since then, there have been "no efforts in the United States to go up the chain of command - they've basically been given impunity from any investigation or prosecution," said Michael Ratner, president of New York's Center for Constitutional Rights, which is behind the litigation.

The attorneys think they have a better case this time, armed with documents from 2005 congressional hearings on the al-Qahtani case. They argue that Rumsfeld's resignation last week means prosecutors may be under less political pressure to avoid the case.

(Agencies)

Vocabulary:
 

inmate: 监狱里的囚犯

outgoing: 即将离职的

top brass: 要员,高级官员

looking into: 调查(案子)

frivolous: 无关紧要的

Abu Ghraib: 阿布格莱布监狱(虐俘丑闻)

(英语点津陈蓓编辑)

 
 
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