Torture, War Crimes, & Militarism

CCR has been relentless in its efforts on behalf of victims of torture and war crimes. The Center pioneered the use of the Alien Tort Statute to allow foreign victims of international human rights violations to sue the perpetrators in U.S. courts. From taking Bosnian-Serb leader Radovan Karadžić to court for his brutal campaign of rape and genocide to suing private military contractors for their roles in the torture of civilians at the Abu Ghraib prison and in unlawful killings in Iraq, we have worked to secure a measure of justice for these grave crimes, and to ensure that U.S. courts remain open to survivors and family members. Using the Torture Victims Protection Act as well as the Constitution, we sought to hold U.S. officials accountable for the “extraordinary rendition” and torture of Maher Arar. When it comes to prosecuting the torturers in our own government, we have tirelessly pursued multiple cases in foreign courts under the legal principle of universal jurisdiction; and if Trump indeed brings back waterboarding “and a hell of a lot worse,” we will come after him as well. These efforts are part of our broader opposition to war and our historical efforts to resist U.S. militarism, from Central America to Iraq and elsewhere. CCR has also conducted advocacy with grassroots partners, including CCR’s recent work with Iraqi civil society groups and anti-war U.S. veterans through the Right to Heal Initiative, demanding accountability and reparations for the Iraqi people as well as improved care and policies for U.S. veterans.