The United Nation human rights chief on Thursday called for a UN investigation into U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, on the grounds that their legality is questionable and that they indiscriminately kill innocent civilians.
“Drone attacks do raise serious questions about compliance with international law,” Navi Pillay told a news conference in Islamabad.
“I see the indiscriminate killings and injuries of civilians in any circumstances as human rights violations,” she said, adding that, “Because these attacks are indiscriminate it is very, very difficult to track the numbers of people who have been killed.”
“I suggested to the government [of Pakistan] that they invite the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Summary or Arbitrary Executions and he will be able to investigate some of the incidents.”
The announcement comes one day after Pillay met with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani who claimed that the U.S. drones war violates human rights and Pakistani sovereignty, a comment immediately dismissed by U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who vowed Washington would continue drone bombings unabated.
Many independent sources have concluded that high numbers of civilian casualties have been produced by the drone war in the tribal regions of northwest Pakistan. The strikes are often indiscriminate in the sense that the Obama administration often does not know the identities of those they’re targeting and also frequently target rescuers and funerals in follow-up attacks.
In addition, administration officials told the New York Times recently that they “[count]all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants…unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.” Operating on the principle of guilty until proven innocent is an extreme form of Executive Branch abuse.
“The principle of distinction and proportionality and ensuring accountability for any failure to comply with international law is also difficult when drone attacks are conducted outside the military chain of command and beyond effective and transparent mechanisms of civilian or military control,” Pillay said.
Many U.S. officials have privately or anonymously voiced concern about the expansiveness of the drone war. Former general counsel at the CIA John A. Rizzo, however, has referred publicly to these drone killings as “murder.”
Robert Grenier, who headed the CIA’s counter-terrorism center from 2004 to 2006, has also come out publicly, saying the drone war is overly broad, kills too many civilians, provokes anti-American hatred, and could inadvertently create terrorist safe havens.
13 thoughts on “UN Rights Chief Calls for Probe into US Drone War in Pakistan”
Is the UN Rights Group finally going to probe the legality of US Drone strikes?
OOPS Sorry the US does not admit to drone strikes so ts safe to assume that they cannot be probed..
Legality and killing of civilians cannot be investigated when the perpertrator is the bringer of democracy by force to stupid natives of third world countiies.
Apparently, who haven't read the latest series of press releases in the NYT in which the war monger coward in chief boasts about his [drone] Kill List and his cyberwar in Iran. If there were any justice in the world, that would be used at his own trial for war crimes. But ha! Like who's gonna dare go there?
Too busy dodging drones in Kandahar no time to read NYT
One year after Bin Laden’s death and over 10 years since 9/11, American citizens are still blindly allowing their civil liberties to be taken away one piece of legislation at a time. How much freedom are we willing to sacrifice to feel safe? Under the guise of fighting terrorism, laws have been put in place as a means to spy on our own citizens and to detain and torture dissidents without trial or a right to council. You can read much more about living in this Orwellian society of fear and see my visual response to these measures on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/09/living…
And NBC starts the nightly news with calls for intervention in Syria. Evidently corporate media really wants to escalate the killing in Syria.
Next headline ….. UN Human Rights Chief accidently killed by a drone.
It seems like the only power the UN has on anything is that of nodding on invasions. Other than that, everybody farts in their general direction and whatever they have to say and do. This will never get anywhere. Next?
Let's see…High Commissioner Pillay's term of 4 years expires in September and the drones have been flying since…when?…2005? …2006?…and not a word from the UN at all on these crimes. Sounds to me like the lady is trying to salve a conscience for not having done anything the last 3.5 years. Throwing hand grenades as you back out the door…stir up a kerfuffle, piss in the campfire and then leave…class act.
As far as the international community is concerned, it appears "Our patience is wearing out!"
The UN and their bureaucratic conglomerate isn't headquartered in the United States for no reason. Who do you think puts "their man" in key positions?
If the Pakistani government does not approve of drone strikes, then anyone the American drones kill is an act of murder and a war crime.
If those being killed are civilians, it's murder and a war crime whether the Pakistani government approves or not.
Drones & Directed Energy Assaults are used for two purposes:
1) mass murder
2) kill the will of man.
The killers of this nation understand that mass murder
is not enough to stop the adversaries; one must also break the will of man
to defend his own country, his own life (& that of his family) and his own
sanity. Total psychological surrender is required.
Torture and the threat of torture are the new weaponry used by the United States Of America in
order to once and for all control all mankind and all nations. The USA's
own combat veterans and patriots are also subject to the deadly assaults
See broken toothpick message dated Feburary 8, 2002 at
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