CCR Condemns Targeted Assassination of U.S. Citizen Anwar Al-Awlaki
September 30, 2011, New York—Today, in response to the news that a missile attack by an American drone aircraft had killed U.S. citizen Anwar Al-Awlaki in Yemen, the Center for Constitutional Rights, which had previously brought a challenge in federal court to the legality of the authorization to target Al-Awlaki in Yemen, released the following statement:
“The assassination of Anwar Al-Awlaki by American drone attacks is the latest of many affronts to domestic and international law,” said Vince Warren, Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. “The targeted assassination program that started under President Bush and expanded under the Obama Administration essentially grants the executive the power to kill any U.S. citizen deemed a threat, without any judicial oversight, or any of the rights afforded by our Constitution. If we allow such gross overreaches of power to continue, we are setting the stage for increasing erosions of civil liberties and the rule of law.”
Pardiss Kebriaei, a CCR senior staff attorney, added: “In dismissing our complaint, the district court noted that there were nonetheless "disturbing questions" raised by the authority being asserted by the United States. There certainly are disturbing questions that need to be asked again, and answered by the U.S. government about the circumstances of the killing and the legal standard that governed it.”
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.