[JURIST] The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) [advocacy websites] filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] Thursday on behalf of US citizens still in Yemen against the US State Department and the Department of Defense [official websites] for allegedly failing to launch an evacuation plan. The rights groups held a public news conference [press release] outside the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] before the lawsuit was filed. The lawsuit calls for an evacuation of all known US citizens in Yemen “by all means available.” CAIR and ADC also created Stuckinyemen.com [website] to aid in identifying US citizens still in Yemen. The State Department issued a travel warning on April 3, which urged US citizens, “to defer travel to Yemen and for those US citizens currently living in or visiting Yemen to depart,” and included a link to information [official website] regarding the Yemen crisis.
The rapidly deteriorating situation in Yemen [JURIST news archive] has sparked major international concern. On Wednesday a UN human rights expert urged [JURIST report] the international community to prepare itself for the “massive displacement and humanitarian crisis” that could come as a result of civilians fleeing the fighting in Yemen. Earlier this month UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Valarie Amos expressed concern [JURIST report] for the safety of civilians in Yemen. Human Rights Watch and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights [official websites] have also each recently expressed concern [JURIST report] for civilian lives as Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen have continued. In March, during an emergency meeting, the UN special envoy to Yemen warned [JURIST report] the UN security Council that the situation in Yemen is teetering on the brink of civil war.