SHAFAQNA (Shia News Association) — Special rapporteur urges US to demonstrate its drone attacks are legal, warning UN may be called on to investigate if Washington fails to act.
A UN expert urged the United States on Thursday to demonstrate that its drone attacks are legal, warning that the United Nations may be called on to investigate if Washington fails to act.
Unless the United States puts in place mechanisms to investigate its drone attacks, "the recommendation will be that the UN does," said special rapporteur Ben Emmerson told reporters on the fringes of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
"Each and every (US) attack will be investigated. Somebody needs to do right by these victims."
Describing drones as "rather like leaving a loaded gun around and waiting for someone to fire it", Emmerson said that the international community was "extremely concerned about the use of targeted killings".
Emmerson, the special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, said that 300 drone strikes took place in Pakistan between 2004 and 2012.
Similar drone attacks have also struck Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan, he added.
The UN expert said that at least 42 countries now use drone technology, "a clear and stark warning" of the need to ensure that international legal tools are put in place to prevent future abuses.
In international humanitarian law, targeted killings are sanctioned in armed conflict. In principle, they can only be used as long as there is evidence of a serious threat in a conflict situation and where no other solution is available. —www.shafaqna.com/english/