Event – Private Contractor Accountability: Seeking Justice for Torture at Abu Ghraib

This panel discussion features two Iraqi torture survivors, Salah Hassan Nsaif and Ali Shallal Abbas, who will share their first-hand accounts serious abuse suffered at Iraq’s notorious Abu Ghraib prison, and the role of U.S. contractors in that torture and abuse.

The event organised by the International Commission of Jurists, the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), and the Center for Constitutional Rights, takes place 15 September 2016, 11:00-12:00, at the Palais des Nations Room XXVII in Geneva, Switzerland.

CCR Senior Staff Attorney Katherine Gallagher will discuss legal cases, Saleh v Titan and Al Shimari v CACI, brought in the United States on behalf of victims as they seek justice. The cases will be placed in context of broader corporate accountability efforts, including those of the UN Working Group on Mercenaries and the Open-Ended Working Group on a legally binding instrument on transnational corporations and other business enterprises.


Salah Hassan, journalist and photographer for Al Jazeera network and Abu Ghraib torture survivor

Ali Shallal Abbas, Founder and President of the Association of victims of the American and Iranian prisons in Iraq, and Abu Ghraib torture survivor

Katherine Gallagher, Senior Staff Attorney, Center for Constitutional Rights

Carlos Lopez, Senior Legal Adviser, Business and Human Rights, International Commission of Jurists (moderator)

Remarks will also be made by Patricia Arias, Chair of the UN Working Group on Mercenaries.

Following the event, there will be the opening of an art exhibit organized by the UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries. Ms. Arias, Mr. Nsaif, and Mr. Abbas will make remarks, and guests are invited to engage with the photographs, multimedia display, and virtual reality film. The exhibit is open to delegates, NGOs, and the public. “Private Actors in Warfare: Stories from victims of private military and security companies and foreign fighters” will take place at 13:00 – 15:00 in Palais des Nations Room XXIII.

A flyer for the event may be downloaded, in PDF format, here: side-event-pmsc-abu-graib-sept2016