Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Some of US drone attacks amount to war crimes: Amnesty International

The US has carried out \"unlawful killings\" in Pakistan through drone attacks, some of which could even amount to war crimes, a human rights group said on Tuesday.

In its report, the Amnesty International (AI) also expressed concern that \"some officials and institutions\" in Pakistan and in other countries including Australia, Germany and the UK may be assisting the US to carry out drone strikes that constitute human rights violations.

The report, \"\'Will I be next?\' US drone strikes in Pakistan\", has said a number of civilians were killed in US drone strikes in Pakistan.

The report said that according to NGO and Pakistan government sources, the US has launched some 330 to 374 drone strikes in Pakistan between 2004 and September 2013.

\"Amnesty International is not in a position to endorse these figures, but according to these sources, between 400 and 900 civilians have been killed in these attacks and at least 600 people seriously injured,\" it said.

The US has maintained that the drone strikes are targeted at specific terrorists. However, Pakistani government and rights groups have said there is a lot of collateral damage.

\"Secrecy surrounding the drones program gives the US administration a license to kill beyond the reach of the courts or basic standards of international law.

\"It\'s time for the USA to come clean about the drones program and hold those responsible for these violations to account,\" said Mustafa Qadri, AI\'s Pakistan Researcher.

AI said it reviewed all 45 known drone strikes that took place in North Waziristan in northwestern Pakistan between January 2012 and August 2013. The region that has seen more strikes than any other part of the country.

It said detailed field research into nine of these strikes, with the report documenting killings, raise serious questions about violations of international law that could amount to war crimes or extrajudicial executions.

News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

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