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Reprieve statement on ‘Targeted Killing’ and the Rule of Law: The Legal and Human Costs of 20 Years of U.S. Drone Strikes





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With this statement, submitted by Reprieve on February 9, 2022 to the United States (US) Senate Judiciary Committee, Reprieve draws the Commitees’ attention to the shadow effects of US covert lethal drone strikes on alleged terrorists across the world. These strikes come with a lack of transparency and accountability.

The decisions to hit a suspected target are often based on inaccurate intelligence or a ‘signature’ or ‘pattern of behavior.’ Misidentification of targets leads to innocent civilian casualties. Their (relatives’) attempts to seek accountability and justice before a court of law so far have stranded. The statement also touches upon the trauma and long term effects that drone attacks have on communities. As a consequence of the imprecision of the US ‘targeted killing’ program anti-Western sentiment are fuelled, playing into the hands of terrorist organisations like Al Qaeda.

Reprieve advocates for ending the use of drones to carry out extrajudicial killings and to provide meaningful accountability to the innocent civilian and their families.

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