11 May 2008

Iraq gang-rape victim can seek trial in US

An American woman who claims that she was gang-raped by co-workers in Baghdad while employed by Halliburton/KBR, a defence contractor, can take her case to trial, a federal judge has ruled.

The decision has opened the door for other American women who have reported sexual assaults in similar circumstances to challenge clauses in their employment contracts restricting such claims to private arbitration and keeping them out of court.

It comes at a time when the US Congress is examining whether the Government is adequately protecting contractors who allege sexual assault.

In Britain, MPs are investigating allegations of sexual harassment and abuse at the Embassy in Baghdad. The allegations also concern employees of KBR, which was hired to maintain the Embassy's premises.

Times Online - Halliburton