Parliament’s influential human rights committee has told the government to get its act together in justifying lethal drone strikes during peace-time.
The Joint Committee on Human Rights has criticised the Government’s policy on the use of drones for targeted killing in a new report.
One of the Joint Committee’s roles is to conduct inquiries on issues of human rights relevance. This inquiry followed UK military action taken against Reyaad Khan in Syria on 21 August 2015 resulting in his death. Reyaad Khan featured in a prominent Islamic State propaganda video in 2014 and David Cameron has said that Khan was planning “specific and barbaric attacks against the West”.
The problem of drone strikes during peace-timeAlthough the Committee accepted that the action taken against Reyaad Khan was during armed conflict, as part of the same armed conflict in which the UK was already involved in Syria, it also found that it was Government policy to use lethal force (that is, force that could result in death) outside of armed conflict.
This was found to be when there was no other way of preventing an imminent terrorist attack against the UK.
The Committee urged the Government to clarify its views on the legal basis of this policy. It also asked the Government to clarify the basis on which it contributes to the use of lethal force abroad outside armed conflict by other countries such as the US.
Finally, it recommended that the UK lead the way globally in developing international consensus on the use of lethal force abroad in counterterrorism operations outside armed conflict.
To do this, the UK should work in partnership with international human rights bodies such as the UN Human Rights Council and the Council of Europe.
Full story: http://rightsinfo.org/drone-strikes-parliament/
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