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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

December-20-07

Hearing on Alleged Halliburton/KBR Gang Rape Cover Up

Alleged rape victim Jamie Leigh Jones testified before the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terror, and Homeland Security on Wednesday. Jones filed a lawsuit against her former employers, Halliburton and its then-subsidiary KBR in May, stating that she was drugged and gang-raped by a group of her co-workers in the KBR camp in the Green Zone in Iraq in 2005.

In her testimony, Jones stated that her experience while working for contractors in Iraq was not an isolated incident, reports the Associated Press. Representative Ted Poe, R-TX, who was contacted for help by Jonesís father while she was held in Iraq by her co-workers after the attack, also testified that several women have now come forward with allegations of sexual harassment and assault while employed by Halliburtonís former subsidiary, KBR.

As of yet, no charges have been brought against Jonesís alleged attackers. According to ABC News, legal experts say they might never even have to stand trial: A loophole in US law effectively leaves contractors working in Iraq out of the jurisdiction of US courts.

According to ABC News, the Justice Department refused to send a representative to the hearing on Wednesday. "This is an absolute disgrace," said House Judiciary Committee John Conyers, D-MI, reports ABC News. "The least we could do is have people from the Department of Justice and the Defense over here talking about how we're going to straighten out the system right away."

Media Resources: ABC News 12/10/07, 12/19/07; Associated Press 12/19/07; Feminist Daily Newswire 12/12/07


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