Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

US drone strikes drawing condemnation from rights groups

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McClathcy has a report by Jonathan Landay:

The Obama administration violated international law with top-secret targeted-killing operations that claimed dozens of civilian lives in Yemen and Pakistan, according to reports that two international human rights organizations released Tuesday.

The Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch reports focus fresh attention on the most controversial facet of the U.S. campaign to cripple al Qaida and allied Islamic extremist groups, underscoring unresolved disputes over the legality of the targeted-killing program, the vast majority of which is carried out by missiles fired from unmanned drone aircraft.

Despite a vow by President Barack Obama to institute greater transparency, “the administration has yet to officially disclose any new information about drone policy, the legal framework or particular strikes,” Amnesty International said.

The reports follow the release last week of a United Nations study that questioned the legality of some U.S. drone strikes and said it had identified 33 incidents “that appear to have resulted in civilian casualties.”

Obama and senior U.S. officials have defended targeted killings as legal under U.S. and international laws. In a speech last May, . . .

Continue reading.

Also, on the same topic, a report from Rachel Oldroyd, who writes for the Bureau of Investigative Journalism:

Leading human rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have raised serious concerns about the legality of drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen.

The two organisations have conducted separate investigations into specific strikes to highlight how civilians are being killed. Such killings, they claim, are a violation of international law.

The groups say the US must investigate all drone attacks that kill civilians and those responsible for such ‘unlawful killings’ should be disciplined or prosecuted.

The reports follow calls last week by two UN experts for more disclosure of information about drone deaths.

report by Christof Heyns, the special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, called for nations that operate armed drones to be more transparent and ‘publicly disclose’ how they use them.

This was followed by the findings of Ben Emmerson, a British barrister and UN special rapporteur on counter-terrorism, who urged the US to ‘release its own data on the level of civilian casualties’ caused by drone strikes.

Amnesty’s report focuses on drone strikes in Pakistan. Human Rights Watch has concentrated on airstrikes, including those conducted by drones, in Yemen.

The Amnesty report, Will I be next? US drone strikes in Pakistannames a group of 18 labourers, including a 14-year-old boy, killed in a drone attack on Pakistan in July 2012. This is the first time that all victims of the strike have been identified.

The group of men had been gathered for their evening meal when the first strike hit. In July field research by the Bureau found that this strike was then followed by another attack that killed rescuers trying to retrieve bodies. This was confirmed by Amnesty’s research.

The report states: . .

Continue reading. There’s quite a bit more.

Written by Leisureguy

23 October 2013 at 8:50 am

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