Global Policy Forum

ECCHR report on targeted killing with drones

ECCHRAs the controversial use of drones for targeted killing by the US continues, the case of the German Bünyamin E., who was killed by a drone in Pakistan in 2010, opens the topic on the rights surrounding the use of drones for modern warfare to debate. The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights has published a report analyzing the use of drones in the context of the German prosecutor's decision to discontinue investigations into the death of Bünyamin E., which according to ECCHR raises a number of serious doubts.

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19 November, 2013 | ECCHR

Targeted killings with drones

22 October 2013 - In the past few years, the deaths of alleged terrorists from targeted drone strikes have increased continuously. The US uses armed drones so far in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. These attacks often breach public international law and human rights standards. Alleged terrorists were killed without the possibility to defend themselves against allegations and in numerous cases the victims were civilians. European governments support the US by the exchange of information. The use of drones suspends the respect for the rule of law and democratic control, undermines the separation of armed forces, intelligence services and police, means poor access to justice for individuals and tightens new forms of warfare.

ECCHR analyzed the German prosecutor’s decision to discontinue investigations into the death of Bünyamin E. in Pakistan in October 2010. According to the ECCHR’s examination, the decision raises a number of serious doubts as to the application and interpretation of the law and shows insufficient investigations. The expert opinion is intended to enable the family of Bünyamin E. to exercise their rights. ECCHR is in contact with witnesses of drone strikes and supports the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in countering terrorism in drafting a report on legal standards for the use of drones (an interim report is available). In addition, members of ECCHR have appeared as experts before the human rights committee of the German parliament and the faction of the left party. Moreover, they joined panel discussions regarding use of armed drones at events in Brussels, Tübingen and Bremen

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