May 7, 2011, New York – Today, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement in response to yesterday’s reports of an attempt by the U.S. to kill Anwar Al-Aulaqi by drone strike in Yemen:
We are deeply concerned about reports of resumed strikes in Yemen aimed at U.S. citizen Anwar Al-Aulaqi, whose addition to secret kill lists maintained by the CIA and the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) based on secret criteria was announced last year.The use of lethal force against Al-Aulaqi in Yemen, a country against which the United States is not at war, is illegal under the U.S. Constitution and international law in all but the narrowest circumstances – as a last resort to protect against a concrete, specific, and imminent threat of death or serious physical injury. U.S. officials are obliged to comply with these standards.Notwithstanding the government’s allegations against Al-Aulaqi, he has never been given any form of process that would be due a U.S. citizen or any individual before execution by the state. The executive’s policy of targeting suspects based only on its own say-so also poses the real risk that the government, which has clearly made mistakes, as the past decade has shown, will target the wrong people.It is shameful that at a time when the people of Yemen and the Middle East are struggling for the rule of law, human rights and democracy, and protesting against violence by their governments, the U.S. is resuming strikes for which there is no transparency or accountability, and only escalating violence.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.