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USA: UN launches investigation into drone killings

Publisher Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Publication Date 24 January 2013
Cite as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, USA: UN launches investigation into drone killings, 24 January 2013, available at: [accessed 17 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

January 24, 2013


The United States' use of drones has come under scrutiny.The United States' use of drones has come under scrutiny.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism Ben Emmerson has launched an inquiry into the effects of drone strikes and other forms of targeted killings on civilians.

Speaking to journalists in London on January 24, Emmerson said the phenomenal rise of drone technology requires that a proper legal framework should be put in place.

He said there was need for "accountability and reparation where things have gone badly wrong."

Emmerson told the Al-Jazeera TV news channel that the investigation was not probing the conduct of any particular state but would look into the consequences of the use of this form of technology.

Emmerson told journalists that British authorities have already agreed to cooperate with his probe. He hoped that Washington would also do the same.

His inquiry will examine 25 drone strikes in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, the Palestinian territories, and Somalia.

In Pakistan, the investigation will focus on the western Federally Administered Tribal Areas, which has been the scene of most of the some 400 drone strikes since they began in 2004.

The investigation is in response to formal requests from Pakistan, Russia, and China.

Drone strikes have been controversial during the past few years.

Senior U.S. officials have declared them to be an effective weapon against terrorist leaders. But critics blame them for killing civilians.

Based on reporting by the BBC and Al-Jazeera

Link to original story on RFE/RL website

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