Amnesty against drone strikes

This video says about itself:

May 24, 2013

In Pakistan alone, it is estimated that more than 3,000 people have died in drone attacks since 2003 – many of them civilians.

Pakistan’s Government has repeatedly condemned drone strikes and the man poised to become the next Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, has called on Washington to end strikes inside the country.

Shahzad Mirza Akbar, a human rights lawyer based in Pakistan, speaks to Al Jazeera about US drone strikes.

He says Sharif has to convince the US to stop the use of drones, otherwise he will be facing legal consequences for not protecting his own citizens.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Amnesty: US drone strikes seem illegal

Thursday 23 May 2013

Amnesty International has delivered a damning indictment of the Obama administration’s use of drone strikes overseas and questioned its legality.

Amnesty said on Wednesday that US drone policy, which is shrouded in secrecy, appears to carry out extrajudicial killings that violate international rights laws.

“Our view is that the legal basis is quite unclear,” said secretary general Salil Shetty.

“We have issues with how the US defines the ‘theatre of war,’ a very broad definition which allows it free rein to use drones and other weapons under a very wide set of circumstances.”

Mr Shetty said its researchers found that people in Pakistan are “living in constant fear even in very remote areas.”

In a wide-ranging report on civil rights, Amnesty said that “available information, limited by secrecy, indicated that US policy permitted extrajudicial executions in violation of international human rights law under the US theory of a ‘global war’ against al-Qaida and associated groups.”

President Obama defended his administration’s reliance on drone strikes in a speech at the National Defence University today.

On the eve of the speech, US Attorney-General Eric Holder acknowledged for the first time that four US citizens had been killed by drone strikes since 2009.

The US government has targeted and killed one US citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, and three other US citizens killed by drones were not targeted.

They were Samir Khan, who was killed in the same drone strike as Mr Awlaki, Mr Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, and Jude Kenan Mohammed, who was killed in a drone strike in Pakistan.

Civil liberties groups and an unusual coalition of Democrats and Republicans have criticised the White House for keeping details of the drone programme secret.

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed lawsuits against the government over the drone attacks that killed the three US citizens in Yemen in 2011.

A vast majority of Pakistanis resent American drone strikes, which they believe have killed hundreds of innocent citizens since the program began in 2004: here.

Killing Americans: Jeremy Scahill on Obama Admin’s Admission 4 U.S. Citizens Died in Drone Strikes: here.

Obama makes limp drone attack pledge: here.

12 thoughts on “Amnesty against drone strikes

  1. I think these drone strikes are simply murder. They are a form of state terrorism. If somebody commits a crime, you normally have to take them to court. Only after a lawful court trial may the person be sentenced. I am opposed to death penalty, but in any case it would require a court sentence passed by a court after a proper lawful trial by a court. Here, people are sentenced to death by the executive branch instead of a court and often without clear evidence, i.e. based on mere suspicion. In the killing by drones, the death of casual innocent bystanders, including children, is tacitly accepted. Killing by drone attacks is completely opposed to constitutional principles. Doing so abroad is also a violation of international law. It is also simply stupid because this is the most effective way to convince people that the US is bad and a surefire way to drive generations of young angry people into the hands of extremists. If you want to create as much anti-western terrorism as possible, killing people by drones is the way to go!


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