The Girl from Kathmandu: Twelve Dead Men and a Woman's Quest for Justice

The Girl from Kathmandu: Twelve Dead Men and a Woman's Quest for Justice

by Cam Simpson


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New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice

The shocking story of the massacre of a group of Nepalese men working as Defense contractors for the United States Government during the Iraq War, and the widow who dedicated her life to finding justice for her husband and the other victims—a riveting tale of courageous heroes, corporate war profiteers, international business, exploitation, trafficking, and human rights in the age of global capitalism that reveals how modern power truly works.

In August of 2004, twelve men left their village in Nepal for jobs at a five-star luxury hotel in Amman, Jordan. They had no idea that they had actually been hired for sub-contract work on an American military base in Iraq. But fate took an even darker turn when the dozen men were kidnapped and murdered by Islamic extremists. Their gruesome deaths were captured in one of the first graphic execution videos disseminated on the web—the largest massacre of contractors during the war. Compounding the tragedy, their deaths received little notice.

Why were these men, from a remote country far removed from the war, in Iraq? How had they gotten there? Who were they working for? Consumed by these questions, award-winning investigative journalist Cam Simpson embarked on a journey to find answers, a decade-long odyssey that would uncover a web of evil spanning the globe—and trigger a chain of events involving one brave young widow, three indefatigable human rights lawyers, and a formidable multinational corporation with deep governmental ties.

A heart-rending, page-turning narrative that moves from the Himalayas to the Middle East to Houston and culminates in an epic court battle, The Girl from Kathmandu is a story of death and life—of the war in Iraq, the killings of the twelve Nepalese, a journalist determined to uncover the truth, and a trio of human rights lawyers dedicated to finding justice. At its heart is one unforgettable young woman, Kamala Magar, who found the courage to face the influential men who sent her husband to his death—a model of strength hope, bravery, and an unbreakable spirit who reminds us of the power we all have to make a difference.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062449719
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/17/2018
Pages: 400
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

Cam Simpson is a London-based writer and journalist. He is currently an international investigations editor and writer for Bloomberg BusinessWeek magazine and Bloomberg News. He previously worked for the Wall Street Journal, with posts in the Middle East and Washington, and as a Washington-based correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, where he was responsible for covering US foreign policy and investigative projects. Simpson is the recipient of two George Polk Awards, three awards from the Overseas Press Club of America, and numerous other honors.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Author's Note xi

Part I "Give Us His Breath or His Body" 1

Part II The Body Shops 59

Part III "More Vile Than Anything the Court Has Previously Confronted" 171

Epilogue 339

Note on Sources 349

Appendix: Interview Subjects 353

Notes 357

Selected Bibliography 367

Index 369

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