Appeals Court Allows Interpreter to Sue L-3 for Keeping Him in Slavery in Iraq

Friday, June 04, 2010

Abdulwahab Nattah, hired by a subsidiary of L-3 Communications to work as a translator in Kuwait, is suing the defense contractor for breach of contract, including allegations of being “sold” as a slave to the U.S. military.

A dual citizen of Libya and the United States, Nattah says he agreed to work for L-3’s Titan Group because it promised to send him only to Kuwait, where he was supposed to stay in a luxury hotel, and under no circumstances would he be sent to Iraq.
Instead, he was in fact shipped to Iraq in early 2003, where he had to live in a desert military camp, share a tent with 40 soldiers, and “eat distasteful food and live in substandard conditions.” The experience exposed him to nearby explosions that he alleges caused him to suffer nerve damage, hearing loss and other medical troubles. He was transferred to Germany, where he underwent two surgeries. Released July 23, 2003, he returned to the United States.
His case, originally filed in April 2006, was dismissed by a district court, but on May 28, 2010, the United States Court of Appeals in Washington, DC, reinstated Nattah’s lawsuit.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Arabic Interpreter Can Pursue Slavery Claims (by Jeff Gorman, Courthouse News Service)
Abdulwahab Nattah v. George Bush et al. (U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia) (pdf)


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