Jonathan Herman

Human Rights First: Examples of Violent Crimes and Abuses by U.S. Contractors

Jonathan Herman

The vast majority of U.S. private contractors do their jobs conscientiously and courageously - often putting their lives at risk in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. But there have been a series of violent incidents committed by U.S. contractors that have harmed civilian lives, contractors themselves, and U.S. national security interests. Soldiers are held accountable for crimes under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Department of Defense (DoD) contractors or contractors supporting DoD’s mission abroad are accountable for crimes under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act. Some contractors can be held to account for crimes under the Special Maritime and Territorial Jurisdiction Act if the crime occurs on a U.S. ship or installation overseas. The Civilian Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (CEJA) would provide jurisdiction over crimes committed by private contractors contracted to other non-DoD U.S. government agencies.

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