Tag Archives: Drones

23 October 2014

UN expert: Growing use of drones in law enforcement may violate human rights

In presenting his report on the use of armed drones within law enforcement, Christof Heyns, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, stressed that such mechanised systems, controlled by a human from a distance, ‘can hardly do what police officers are supposed to do’, such as using the minimum force required by the circumstances. ‘The situation becomes even more problematic when the police use increasingly autonomous weapons – that is, weapons that have on board computers which decide on the use of force,’ Mr. Heyns continued. ‘The decreased personal involvement of police officers in the deployment of force raises the question, among others, of who is responsible if things go wrong.’ (more…)

Source: UN News Centre | Growing use of drones in law enforcement may violate human rights, warns UN expert

6 January 2014

United States Aids Iraq with Arms to Fight Al-Qaeda-backed insurgency

The United States has sent dozens of Hellfire missiles and low-tech surveillance drones to Iraq to help government forces combat an violence by an Al-Qaeda-backed insurgency that is gaining territory in both western Iraq and Syria. The assistance was requested by the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. The New York Times reports that American intelligence and counterterrorism officials say they have effectively mapped the locations and origins of the Al-Qaeda network in Iraq and are sharing this information with the Iraqis.

The Iraqi military has a very limited ability to locate and quickly strike Al-Qaeda militants. The combination of American-supplied Hellfire air-to-ground missiles, tactical drones and intelligence, supplied by the United States, is intended to augment that limited Iraqi ability.

Source: The New York Times | U.S. Sends Arms to Aid Iraq Fight With Extremists

10 April 2013

US carried out its first drone killing at the request of Pakistan, in exchange for access to airspace

The New York Times reports that the first person killed by a US drone attack, in 2004, was victim of a secret deal, under which the C.I.A. had agreed to kill him at the request of Pakistan. The victim, Mr. Muhammad, was not a top operative of Al Qaeda, but a Pakistani ally of the Taliban who led a tribal rebellion and was marked by Pakistan as an enemy of the state. The C.I.A. agreed to kill him in exchange for access to airspace it had long sought, in order to be able to use drones to hunt down its own enemies.

Source: The New York Times | A Secret Deal on Drones, Sealed in Blood

26 February 2013

Report on UK complicity in drone attacks by the US

Al Jazeera has published a report detailing involvement of the United Kingdom (UK) in drone attacks by the United States (US). The report states that the UK has been providing locational intelligence in order to assist US drone operators carrying out strikes in Pakistan, and that it has granted General Electric export licenses for products integral to the production of Predator drones.

Source: Al Jazeera | Foreign complicity in the drone war

26 February 2013

US builds drone base in Niger

President Obama has announced last Friday that about 100 American troops were sent to Niger to help set up a new base from which drones would conduct surveillance in the region. Niger has signed a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the United States (US) that has cleared the way for greater American military involvement in the country, and has provided legal protection to American troops there. The US troops would support the French-led operation in Mali.

Source: The New York Times | New Drone Base in Niger Builds U.S. Presence in Africa

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