Nuhanovic Foundation

Reparations Database

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Aziz Al Ameri vs The Government of the United States of America





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This petition is brought to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the Commission) by Aziz Mabkhout Al Ameri, head of the Yemeni Al Ameri family, on behalf of members of the Al Ameri and Al Taisy families and their community. Between 2013 and 2018, they have been subjected to six separate drone strikes and one special operations raid. These actions, carried out by the United States (U.S.) in pursuance of its counter-terrorism policy, have killed 34 members of the Al Ameri and Al Taisy families, including nine children.

The impact of these drone attacks on the families and the community is far reaching. The families lost sons and fathers who were breadwinners and their property and livestock have been damaged or destroyed. The members of  the community sustained multiple physical and psychological injuries – some permanent and life-changing.  The families live in constant fear that the drones flying overhead will strike again.

The U.S. claimed to have lawfully targeted al-Qaeda militants and/or ISIS members and did not conduct any meaningful investigation into the reported civilian harm resulting from their military actions. Nor did it provide any form of redress to the survivors and next of kin of the deceased. It is submitted, however, that the evidence enclosed with the petition shows that innocent civilians, including children, were attacked in flagrant violation of international human rights law and/or international humanitarian law.

To no avail victims of U.S. drone strikes in Yemen and beyond have been challenging the legality of drone strikes carried out against them in U.S. courts in the last decades. The political question and state secrets doctrines, as well as  sovereign  immunity, have served as procedural bars to the jurisdiction of U.S. courts. That is why Al Ameri turns to the Commission for relief and request it to determine that the U.S. is responsible for breaching its obligations under the American Declaration  by violating the right to life and the right to humane treatment, by not adequately investigating the reported civilian harm caused by their military actions and by not providing the victims and their next of kin with redress.

Since the families fear the risk of being targeted in future attacks, they seek precautionary measures pending a final decision on the merits. The Commission was requested to urge the U.S. to adopt the necessary measures to protect their rights to life and personal integrity, to establish an independent mechanism for conducting – and undertaking –  meaningful post-action investigations, and to publicly  disclose its targeting criteria and standards. In the fall of 2021 the Commission found that it lacks jurisdiction over Yemen and thus declared the case inadmissible. The victims appealed this decision.

The Reprieve Witness Statement addresses in detail the factual background to this Petition, including the victims’ names, ages, occupations and family situations.

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