Tomorrow in Washington D.C., President Obama will meet with Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi. White House statements already suggest that the agenda will include Guantánamo detainees.
Here are five of our top recommendations for their agenda:
- Guantánamo detentions: It is long past time for President Obama to release all Guantánamo detainees unless they are to be promptly charged and fairly tried in US federal court, without recourse to the death penalty.
- Drone strikes: The U.S. government must declassify and disclose key information about U.S. drone strikes in Yemen, including the names and locations of individuals killed.
- Yemeni journalist Shayi': The U.S. government should end its opposition to the recent release of Abdul llah Haydar Shayi’, the Yemeni journalist who was imprisoned for over two-and-a-half years. He was the first Yemeni journalist to allege U.S. involvement in the missile attack on the community of al-Ma’jalah.
- The 2009 missile attack: The U.S. should reveal all the information in its possession on the 2009 strike that journalist Shayi’ first reported on. That strike killed 41 local residents in Yemen’s Abyan area. Photographic evidence suggests that the attack used a U.S.-manufactured cruise missile that carried cluster munitions. A leaked U.S. diplomatic cable later corroborated the finding that the U.S. military carried out the attack.
- Women’s rights in Yemen: President Hadi should address the severe and widespread discrimination faced by women and girls in Yemen, both in law and practice. For example, women who assert their right to marry a partner of their choice against the wishes of their families risk physical violence and restrictions on their freedom of movement.
For more details on each of these recommendations, read the letter we sent to the White House today. For more details on Yemen’s severe human rights challenges, you should also read our Agenda for Change, written by my colleagues on our Yemen team.