Drone Wars: The Constitutional and Counterterrorism Implications of Targeted Killing

  Hearing Before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the

Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights

April 23, 2013
Submission by the National Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms,
Alkarama, and the Center for Constitutional Rights


537034_567156443313157_766356996_n   555460_567155753313226_420908115_n

 (Drone strike Yemen, 23rd January 2013)

Chairman Durbin, Ranking Member Cruz, and Members of the Subcommittee:
The submitting organizations would like to thank you for holding this critical
The National Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms (HOOD) is a
leading non-profit, non-partisan and non-governmental human rights organization in
Yemen, founded in 1998. HOOD seeks the equal application of the law and equal
protection under the law for all Yemeni citizens and residents. It provides pro bono legal
assistance to victims of torture and human rights abuses, conducts trainings and advocacy
campaigns to raise legal and human rights awareness among, in particular,
underprivileged segments of the society, and monitors human rights abuses. Our core
values are credibility, transparency and to equally address all cases of human rights

Alkarama is a Swiss-based, independent human rights organization established in
2004 to assist all those in the Arab World subjected to, or at risk of, extra-judicial
executions, disappearances, torture and arbitrary detention. Acting as a bridge between
individual victims in the Arab world and international human rights mechanisms,
Alkarama works towards an Arab world where all individuals live free, in dignity and
protected by the rule of law. In Arabic, Alkarama means dignity. We are concerned that
drone strikes in Yemen have caused the extra-judicial executions of hundreds of
individuals in Yemen, and we hope this hearing will allow for a reversal of this very
negative trend.

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) is a non-governmental organization
dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Our interest in this hearing stems from our
efforts over the past several years to enforce the rule of law and ensure accountability for
targeted killings by the United States. In 2010, CCR and the ACLU filed Al-Aulaqi v.
Obama, which challenged the authorization for the targeted killing of U.S. citizen Anwar
Al-Aulaqi in Yemen. Last year, our organizations filed Al-Aulaqi v. Panetta, now
pending, which seeks accountability for the killings of Al-Aulaqi and two other U.S.
citizens, Samir Khan and 16 year-old Abdulrahman Al-Aulaqi, from U.S. drones strikes
in Yemen in September and October 2011.

This submission seeks to provide information about the largely untold civilian
impact of U.S. targeted killing operations in Yemen, based on field investigations
conducted by HOOD and Alkarama in Yemen in 2012 and 2013. While the research
remains ongoing and the sample discussed here is limited, the direct accounts of victims
and community members are intended to provide a lens into the human toll of US
operations in Yemen and a basis for further inquiry by the Subcommittee, including about
the official numbers of those killed and injured, the criteria for classifying casualties as
civilians and “militants” or “combatants,” and any procedures to investigate reports of
civilian harm and provide redress.





Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad.  She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”.

Comments are closed.