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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

February-13-08

Alleged KBR Rape Victim Testifies at Another House Hearing

Jamie Leigh Jones, a former KBR employee, testified again on Tuesday at a Congressional hearing that she was drugged and gang-raped by a group of her co-workers in the Green Zone KBR camp in Iraq in 2005. She also asked lawmakers to address the difficulties victims of such crimes face in suing their employers when the crimes occur abroad.

The issue received national attention last year and Jones testified in a Congressional hearing on the issue last December. Since then, more women have spoken out. Women are now reporting being sexually assaulted by co-workers while working with contractors in Iraq, but they are not receiving real compensation or justice.

Mary Beth Kineston, an American truck driver for KRB, says she was sexually assaulted by a fellow driver, who continued to work for KRB even after she made a complaint. Subsequently, she was groped by another KRB worker and was fired when she attempted to place a second complaint.

Five years after the United States invasion on Iraq, the U.S. has still not created laws to protect Americans working under American contractors in foreign countries. The lack of legal protection makes it difficult for women to defend themselves through the legal system, leaving them in kind of "legal limbo," according to the New York Times.

Jones said on Tuesday, "Victims of crime perpetrated by employees of taxpayer-funded government contracts in Iraq deserve the same standard of treatment and protection governed by the same laws whether they are working in the U.S. or abroad."

Media Resources: New York Times 2/13/08; Feminist Daily Newswire 12/20/07, 1/15/08; ABC News 12/10/07


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