CONGRESSMAN LIEU SENDS LETTER TO SEC. KERRY ON STATE DEPT. KNOWLEDGE OF YEMEN WAR CRIMES
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON – Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) sent a letter to Secretary John Kerry in light of troubling news that State Department lawyers knew the U.S. could be liable for war crimes in Yemen.
Congressman Lieu’s Prior Actions:
Mr. Lieu has repeatedly raised concerns regarding this issue. Last year, he sent a letter to General Joseph F. Dunford, the incoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, requesting further information about civilian deaths as a result of Saudi Arabian led coalition airstrikes in Yemen. A month later, Mr. Lieu joined Representatives Dingell and Ellison to lead a letter to President Obama on the Yemen airstrikes. In March 2016, Mr. Lieu sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Ash Carter expressing his deep concern over the tragic civilian deaths. In August 2016, Mr. Lieu led a bipartisan group of 64 Members of Congress in sending another letter to President Obama urging him to postpone the sale of new arms to Saudi Arabia. He also introduced House Joint Resolution 90 to provide limitations on the transfer of air-to-ground munitions from the United States to Saudi Arabia. Senators Chris Murphy (CT) and Rand Paul (KY) introduced Senate Joint Resolution 32, the Senate companion to Mr. Lieu’s bill.
Excerpts from the Letter:
“I previously taught the Law of Armed Conflict when I served on active duty in the Air Force and am a graduate of Air War College. The frequency and scale of the civilian killings by the Saudi military coalition make it difficult to come to any conclusion other than that war crimes have been and are continuing to be committed in Yemen.”
“Immediately stopping the aiding and abetting of the Saudi military coalition would not only help reduce the legal risk to U.S. officials, it would send a strong message to the world that the U.S. respects the Law of War and basic human rights. As you know, the State Department has an entire office dedicated to preventing foreign entities from committing war crimes. The credibility of that office has been shredded by the U.S.-enabled airstrikes on civilians in Yemen.”
THE FULL TEXT OF THE LETTER CAN BE FOUND HERE