May 5, 2015, New York – The following statement was issued today by the Center for Constitutional Rights:
The crisis in Yemen is only deepening. Innocent Yemenis are caught between the brutal war games of ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh on the one hand and a U.S-backed coalition of Arab countries, as well as Iran, on the other. The U.S. continues to provide intelligence and logistical support for aerial bombardments in densely populated civilian areas and has accelerated weapon sales to its military allies in the region. As a result of all the parties’ maneuvering for geopolitical influence, thousands of Yemenis have been killed and injured and tens of thousands displaced. This is not a sustainable solution to Saleh’s violent coup. As a U.S.-based human rights organization, the Center for Constitutional Rights strongly condemns our own government’s role in the worsening humanitarian crisis in Yemen.We call on the Obama administration to prioritize civilians and work to ensure that humanitarian aid, including food, water and medical supplies, which are desperately needed, can reach Yemen to save lives. We also urge the administration to live up to its obligations to U.S. citizens trapped in Yemen and evacuate them, along with their families, as soon as possible. Europe, China, India, and Russia have all seen to the safety of their citizens in this crisis; the Obama administration’s delay in doing so is inexcusable.The United States is partly responsible for the current crisis in Yemen. After decades of supporting Saleh’s corrupt and repressive regime, the U.S. then supported granting him immunity after he was popularly deposed in the Yemeni revolution that followed the Arab Spring protests of 2011. As a result, while he was formally removed from power, he was able to continue pulling political and military strings. While Saleh was staying at a luxury hotel in New York in 2012, CCR demanded the Department of Justice launch a war crimes investigation, but the government chose to give him safe haven instead. Now he continues to orchestrate atrocities against the civilian population with his allies, the Houthi Militias. It is time for war criminals like Saleh and others who have committed crimes against Yemen’s civilian population to be brought to justice.CCR stands in solidarity with the people of Yemen and with our allies on the ground at the Sanaa-based National Organization for Defending Human Rights and Freedoms (HOOD), who continue to struggle under incredibly challenging conditions to support the voices of those bearing the brunt of this conflict, over and above sectarian agendas.
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.