Thursday, August 22, 2013

UN rights chief questions US and Israel on drones

UNITED NATIONS, Aug 20 (APP): Asserting that armed drone strikes violate human rights, a top U.N. official has urged the United States and its ally, Israel, to clarify the legal basis for the use of unmanned aircraft in Pakistan, Yemen and Gaza. “I urge relevant States to clarify the legal basis for such strikes, as well as the safeguards in place to ensure compliance with applicable international law”, Navi Pillay, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, told the Security Council on Monday without actually naming the two allied states.

The current lack of transparency surrounding their use, she said, created an “accountability vacuum” and affected the ability of victims to seek redress.
Pillay, who was participating in a debate about the protection of civilians in armed conflict, said she is “seriously concerned about human rights implications for the protection of civilians of armed drone strikes carried out in the context of counter-terrorism and military operations, including in Pakistan, Yemen and Gaza.

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