Arab, Muslim and Asian Groups Sue Kerry, Carter Over U.S. Citizens Trapped in Yemen
Washington, DC | www.adc.org | April 9, 2015 - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus (ALC) today announced the filing of a lawsuit against Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter seeking government action to evacuate American citizens trapped in Yemen. [NOTE: The lawsuit was filed by ADC and CAIR attorneys.]
Plaintiffs in the case, all American citizens or permanent citizens trapped in Yemen, are challenging “the constitutionality of the United States government’s action and/or failure to act to protect United States citizens in Yemen, whose lives are in danger from ongoing military action and violent attacks.” [NOTE: The plaintiffs are all part of the more than 450 people who registered on the StuckInYemen.com website. See below.]
The lawsuit also states in part:
“Defendants are in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 706, in that the Defendants unlawfully withheld and/or unreasonably delayed agency action to which the Plaintiffs are entitled. . .and the Defendants have failed to provide through direct military assistance or contracting with commercial entities the necessary equipment, ships, airplanes, and other items that are available to Defendants to insure the security, safety, and well-being of United States citizens.
Despite the clear danger to Americans in Yemen – and the death of at least one American – the Obama administration has not yet taken any substantive steps to help citizens or permanent residents reach safety. . .
Plaintiffs request that injunctive relief is granted and judgment entered in favor of the Plaintiffs and against the Defendants that:
- The Defendants use all at their disposal that are necessary and available, including, but not limited to the deploying of ships, vessels, and airplanes and/or contracting with private commercial liners and airline carriers to evacuate United States citizens from Yemen and safely return them to the United States in the most expeditious fashion available; and
- The Defendants’ inaction in not evacuating United States citizens from Yemen was arbitrary and capricious, and violated the Administrative Procedure Act.”
SEE: Full Text of Lawsuit
Last week, ADC, CAIR and ALC launched a website – StuckInYemen.com – to assist in identifying Americans who are in danger and are in need of their government’s assistance in getting to safety. To date, more than 400 people have either signed up or been identified by families members as needing assistance.
Click to read more about the coalition effort:
StuckInYemen.Com – U.S. Citizens Can’t Get Out (Think Progress)
San Francisco Man Escapes War-Torn Yemen on a Fishing Boat (Video) (ABC 7 News)
StuckInYemen.com: website offers help to Yemeni Americans trapped by war (The Guardian)
Founded in 1980, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is the largest Arab American grassroots organization committed to protecting civil rights, promoting mutual understanding, and preserving the Arab American cultural heritage. ADC supports the human and civil rights of all people and opposes racism and bigotry in any form.
The Asian Law Caucus was founded in 1972 as the nation’s first legal and civil rights Asian American organization. Recognizing that social, economic, political and racial inequalities continue to exist in the United States, ALC is committed to the pursuit of equality and justice for all sectors of our society, with a specific focus directed toward addressing the needs of low-income, immigrant and underserved Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The Asian Law Caucus is a member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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