Military Contractor in Iraq Faces More Rape Allegations
Another woman has come forward with allegations of rape by both a fellow KBR employee and a US soldier while working for KBR in Iraq. According to The Nation, the 42-year-old paramedic reported the assault, but was told by KBR employees to keep quiet. Her computer was even confiscated as "evidence" when she emailed a lawyer for advice.
This case is not an isolated incident. Sexual assault of civilian contractors working with the military abroad received public attention in 2005 after Jamie Leigh Jones, a former KBR employee, came forward with allegations that she was drugged and gang-raped by a group of her co-workers in the Green Zone KBR camp in Iraq. Since she went public, many more women have come forward with similar allegations. Jones has testified at Congressional hearings, asking lawmakers to address the difficulties victims of such crimes face in suing their employers when the crimes occur abroad.
Five years after the United States invasion of Iraq, the US 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 a kind of "legal limbo," according to the New York Times. To date, no one has been prosecuted for sexually assaulting a US civilian in Iraq.
ABC News reports that the Justice Department has now finally agreed to send an official to answer questions about the investigation and prosecution of alleged sex crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Justice Department refused to send an official to a December 2007 hearing on the subject.
Media Resources: New York Times 2/13/08; ABC News 4/8/08; The Nation 4/3/08
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .