Saturday, August 28, 2010

Yemen Activists & CCR: H Rights Event September 2, 2010 7 PM

NOTE: recently in passing on Early Morning Edition, mentioned that the US planned to proceed with their intent to use drones in Yemen and to see Yemen's support. There are other issues which raise red flags. Try to go to this seminar if at all possible...

From: Annette Warren Dickerson
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2010 17:38:58 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Sept. 2 (7pm): Yemeni Activists & CCR Attorney Address Human
Rights Violations & "War on Terror"

Dear CCR supporter,

On September 2, 2010, at 7 pm, please join us at the Brecht Forum in
New York City for *Confronting State Violence, Targeted Killing, and
Human Rights Abuse in the U.S.-Yemen partnership to fight the "War on
Terror," a public discussion featuring renowned Yemeni activists and a
CCR human rights attorney*. (The Brecht Forum is located on 451 West
Street between Bank and Bethune Streets. For directions, please GO here - Forward as:

The U.S. government describes Yemen as "an important partner in the
global war on terrorism" while at the same time characterizing it as
an Al-Qaida stronghold. The Yemeni government has taken advantage of
the U.S. partnership and increasing military aid to justify its
domestic "anti-terror campaigns" which have resulted in egregious
human rights violations, including mass arrests, illegal abductions,
enforced disappearances, torture, and killings. The victims of this
violence are not only alleged militants and their families, but Yemeni
dissidents and journalists critical of their government. The "war on
terror" has served as a cover for the Yemeni state to increase
repression and militarization in response to its own internal
political crises -- all with the tacit approval of the international

Visiting Yemeni human rights activists will discuss what they are
doing to resist this mounting repression and to create a meaningfully
democratic and peaceful future. Learn about the political climate in
Yemen, and together think through what ethical solidarity with Yemeni
people might look like. Also hear from a CCR lawyer who is trying to
stop a "targeted killing" by the United States in Yemen and who
represents men detained at Guantánamo -- where Yemeni men constitute
the largest group of remaining prisoners, all declared by the Obama
administration to be indefinitely detainable without charge based
solely on their nationality.

Developing an understanding of this political reality is crucial to
ending the U.S. government's complicity in more human rights abuses,
and to stopping the creation of a boundless war without end that
threatens our collective safety.


Annette Warren Dickerson
Director of the Education and Outreach Department

"List of Panelists:"
* *Tawakkol Karman* is chairwoman of the Yemeni non-government
organization Women Journalists Without Chains [ ], which campaigns for
freedom of the press in Yemen and against human rights violations. She
is a very prominent young activist, and Reporters Without Borders
chose her in 2009 as one of the top seven women who have led change in
the world. Karman is among the activists who in 2007 launched the
"Phase of Protests and Sit-ins" in Yemen, holding regular sit-ins in
the capital's Freedom Square to demand democratic reforms and an end
to human rights violations -- including the harassment and
imprisonment of journalists and dissidents, closure of critical
newspapers, and censorship of news articles. She is one of only 13
women on the legislative Shura Council of the Yemeni Congregation for
Reform (Islah), the leading opposition party. Her outspoken
condemnation of the government's human rights abuses has inspired
scores of other women activists to similarly resist injustice. Karman
has helped write numerous reports on freedom of expression,
corruption, extremism, and violent repression of dissidents in Yemen,
and has called for political reform and dialogue.
* *Ezz-Adeen Saeed Ahmed Al-Asbahi* is the president of Human Rights
Information & Training Center (HRITC), a non-governmental organization
which seeks to enhance human rights in Yemen and the Arab World,
focusing on the Gulf States in particular. HRITC has consultative
status with the United Nations, offers training courses and forums on
human rights, publishes a quarterly human rights magazine called "Our
Rights", and has published 30 books on law and human rights. Al-Asbahi
is also the coordinator of a large regional network of human rights
activists in the Gulf States and the Peninsula, and the president of a
Yemeni network of human rights organizations which includes six Yemeni
NGOs. A journalist and researcher, he has published eight books on
literature and human rights. He is also the head of the civil society
sector of the Supreme National Authority to Combat Corruption.
* *Pardiss Kebriaei *is a staff attorney at the Center for
Constitutional Rights [ ] (CCR) in New York
City. She joined the Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative at CCR in
July 2007, and provides direct representation to several of CCR's
clients at Guantánamo. She is also working on a lawsuit to challenge a
U.S. government kill-list and the targeting of a U.S. citizen now in
Yemen and far from any armed conflict with the United States.
* *Leili Kashani* (moderator and discussant): is the Education and
Outreach Associate for the Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative at the
Center for Constitutional Rights [ ] (CCR)
in New York City. She advocates for a just closure of the prison at
Guantánamo, resettlement for the men still detained, and against
illegal detentions more broadly. She has written about and advocated
against the Obama administration's policy of indefinitely detaining
all the Yemeni men who remain in Guantánamo.

*This event is co-sponsored by the International Federation for Human
Rights (FIDH) and the Brecht Forum.


An Exciting New Muslim Country To Attack

By Glenn Greenwald

There is anti-Americanism and radicalism in Yemen; therefore, to solve that problem, we're going to bomb them more with flying killer robots, because nothing helps reduce anti-American sentiments like slaughtering civilians and dropping cluster bombs from the sky.



Obama's US Assassination Program?

By Chuck Norris

That's right. No arrest. No Miranda rights. No due process. No trial. Just a bullet.


  1. UPDATE just in Aug 30, 2010 - PART ONE

    Will the U.S. government get away with the power to target and kill individuals, including U.S. citizens, far from any armed conflict and without charge, trial, or judicial process? This is the central question in Al-Aulaqi v. Obama, a lawsuit CCR and the ACLU filed today in federal court.

    We recently had a small victory in our efforts to contest the legality of a kill-list maintained by the U.S. government. On August 3, 2010, we wrote to tell you that we filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Treasury Department and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to dispute the constitutionality of a licensing scheme that requires lawyers to seek government permission to represent individuals the same government intends to kill. The government put U.S. citizen Anwar Al-Aulaqi on a kill-list, then added him to an OFAC list last month, making it a crime for CCR and the ACLU to challenge the government's authority to kill him. On August 4, the day after we filed our lawsuit against OFAC, OFAC granted CCR and the ACLU a license to provide pro bono legal services to Anwar Al-Aulaqi's father Nasser Al-Aulaqi as representative of his interests. Although we obtained a license, we will continue to pursue our challenge to the OFAC regulations because it is unconstitutional to require lawyers to ask the government for permission to challenge the legality of its conduct.


  2. Today, CCR and ACLU have filed a lawsuit on behalf of Nasser Al-Aulaqi against President Obama, CIA Director Leon Panetta, and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. The lawsuit aims to stop the U.S. government from carrying out a "targeted killing" far away from any armed conflict, without due process, and where there is not an imminent threat and lethal force is not necessary. Anwar Al-Aulaqi has not been charged with any crime, but has reportedly been the target of several strikes in Yemen, a country in which the U.S. is not engaged in war but where air strikes have caused civilian casualties and popular protests, and where he is believed to be in hiding. Outside the context of armed conflict (Yemen is almost 2000 miles away from Iraq and Afghanistan), targeted killing is permissible under international law only as a last resort and in the face of a truly imminent threat - and then only because the imminence of the threat makes judicial process infeasible. Outside these narrow circumstances, targeted killing amounts to the imposition of a death sentence without charge or trial. The government's authorization to kill U.S. citizen Al-Aulaqi far from any armed conflict violates his Fourth Amendment right to be free from excessive force and his Fifth Amendment right to due process before being deprived of life and to have notice of the criteria that make a person targetable for death. It also constitutes an extrajudicial killing in violation of international law.

    Regardless of the government's allegations against Anwar al-Aulaqi or any person suspected of wrongdoing, authorizing the death of individuals on secret standards, far from any conflict zone, and outside of any legal process not only violates the Constitution and international law, but seriously undermines our collective safety. The executive should not be able to act as judge, jury, and executioner, substituting its own bureaucratic process for the due process required by law. The U.S. government should not be able to claim the sweeping authority to carry out extrajudicial killings of U.S. citizens or other individuals far from any actual battlefield, nor make the dangerous contention that the entire world is now a battlefield. Such assertions of power will inevitably target innocent people-the U.S. government has a long and well-documented history of wrongly accusing both citizens and foreigners of terrorism and of being a threat to national security-and kill scores of innocent bystanders, undermining the rule of law and effectively creating a war without boundaries or end.

    If the government suspects individuals of criminal activity, they should be charged and tried in a court of law, not put to death on the government's say-so.

    We will keep you updated on this important case. To read more, visit our case page.