Human Rights Groups: Drone Strikes Kill More Civilians Than US Admits

Human Rights Watch investigated six US drone strikes in Yemen and reports that 69 percent of 82 killed were civilians – undercutting claims that drone technology targets specific threats. “[T]he human rights groups said they were able to shed further light on the incidents by interviewing survivors, other witnesses and government officials in both countries,” reports Craig Whitlock for the Washington Post. “The groups’ findings coincide with a report released Friday by a U.N. human rights investigator, who estimated that 2,200 people have been killed in drone strikes over the past decade in Pakistan.” That investigation concluded that about 25 percent of the deaths were likely civilians or noncombatants. Human rights groups call on the United States to be more forthcoming on drone technology, policies and investigations; Whitlock points out the US “legal justifications for targeting specific people are shrouded in secrecy.” Complicating drone strikes is the complicity of officials in countries who hope to eliminate threats but not anger their citizens. – YaleGlobal

Human Rights Groups: Drone Strikes Kill More Civilians Than US Admits

Rights groups’ findings in Yemen and Pakistan contradict Obama administration’s assertions that such casualties are rare
Craig Whitlock
Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Read ‘Between a Drone and Al-Qaeda’: The Civilian Cost of US Targeted Killings in Yemen” from Human Rights Watch; “’Will I Be Next?’ US Drone Strikes in Pakistan” by Amnesty International; and an interim report from the UN Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights on “the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.”

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