UN Demands US Explain Drone Killings

Special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions wants more information
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2012 8:46 AM CDT
An Afghan man walks over the debris of a damaged house after a drone crash on the day before in Jalalabad, the provincial capital of Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 21, 2011.   (AP Photo/ Rahmat Gul)

(Newser) – The Obama administration can't just kill anyone it wants to with its flying robots, the UN's special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions declared overnight, issuing a report demanding the US justify its drone campaign and disclose its procedures for ensuring the attacks comply with international law and don't hit civilians. "Disclosure of these killings is critical to ensure accountability, justice, and reparation for victims or their families," the report said, according to Reuters.

Thousands have been killed in US drone strikes and "there has been a dramatic increase in their use over the past three years," the report said. International law requires that every effort be made to arrest suspects, in line with the "principles of necessity and proportionality," but the US makes no such effort. In a speech yesterday, the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights said he'd visited drone strike sites in Pakistan, and said it was "unclear that all persons targeted are combatants." (Read more drone strike stories.)

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