Amnesty accuses US of war crimes

22 October 2013 09:23 am - 14     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Amnesty International in a document titled “Will I be next US drone strikes in Pakistan" accused the US of unlawful killings in Pakistan which could amount to war crimes.

“Secrecy surrounding the drones program gives the US administration a license to kill beyond the reach of the courts or basic standards of international law. It’s time for the USA to come clean about the drones program and hold those responsible for these violations to account,” said Mustafa Qadri, Amnesty International’s Pakistan Researcher.

The organisation  reviewed 45 known drone strikes in northwest Pakistan between 2012 January and 2013 August and carried detailed research into nine strikes which showed a serious violations of international law and could in fact amount to war crimes or extra judicial killings.

Among the many documented killing of non-combatants is that of Mamano Bibi, a 68-year-old grandmother killed by a Hellfire missile whilst collecting vegetables in the family’s field surrounded by her grandchildren.


Mamana Bibi's granddaughter. Mamana Bibi was killed in a US drone strike on 24 October 2012 in the village of Ghundi Kala, North Waziristan, Pakistan. © Amnesty International

Her grandchildren told Amnesty three of her grandchildren and a number of others were also wounded in the attack.
July 2012 witnessed an even deadlier attack in north Waziristan where witness said a group of labourers had gathered for their evening meal after work.
A volley of missiles hit the tent they had gathered in and then asecond strike hit those who came to help the wounded.
Eighteen innocents including a fourteen-year-old boy were killed in the attack.
The report adds that this was not the only ‘rescuer attack’ (people who come to help the wounded) were themselves targeted in rapid follow on attacks.
Contrary to official claims that those killed were “terrorists”, Amnesty International’s research showed the victims of the attacks were not involved in fighting and posed no threat to life
Amnesty emphasizes “We cannot find any justification for these killings. There are genuine threats to the USA and its allies in the region, and drone strikes may be lawful in some circumstances.
But it is hard to believe that a group of labourers, or an elderly woman surrounded by her grandchildren, were endangering anyone at all, let alone posing an imminent threat to the United States,”
The USA continues to rely on a “global war” doctrine to attempt to justify a borderless war with al-Qaida, the Taliban and those perceived to be their allies.

The USA’s promise to increase transparency around drone strikes, underscored by a major policy speech by President Barack Obama in May 2013, has yet to become a reality, and the USA still refuses to divulge even basic factual and legal information.
This secrecy has enabled the USA to act with impunity and block victims from receiving justice or compensation. As far as Amnesty International is aware, no US official has ever been held to account for unlawful killings by drones in Pakistan.

“The tragedy is that drone aircraft deployed by the USA over Pakistan now instills the same kind of fear in the people of the tribal areas that was once associated only with al-Qaida and the Taliban,” said Quadri
The report documents, local men and women have little control over the presence of groups like the Taliban and al-Qaida in their villages and districts.

  Comments - 14

  • ind Tuesday, 22 October 2013 11:12 AM

    Only accusing. No action. No documentary films. Then send a apology letter to Obama !

    Saaman Tuesday, 22 October 2013 11:18 AM

    Surprisingly Mdm. Pillai is quiet on raising this with the US.

    Gayan Tuesday, 22 October 2013 11:27 AM

    April fool already?. Or did the US govt cut budget allocation to Amnesty due to US Govt shutdown?

    warra Tuesday, 22 October 2013 11:45 AM

    ha karma. if the US is to be charged for war crimes it would date back from WW11 right through Vietnam where they bombed villages to present. however, we all know there wont be any changes pressed against them because the UN and its affiliations are run by them.

    kumar Tuesday, 22 October 2013 11:59 AM

    Where are the people always shouting AI is biased when it shows concern about Sri Lanka's HR records?

    Chandima Tuesday, 22 October 2013 12:03 PM

    an eyewash!

    amoeba Tuesday, 22 October 2013 12:03 PM

    UNHRC writ does not run here. Where are Ms.

    Sonali De Silva Wednesday, 23 October 2013 07:12 AM

    AI accusing the US of A of war crimes!!! The God almighty and ruler of all the poor countries??? Have they lost their marbles or what.

    jayasiri Wednesday, 23 October 2013 02:14 PM

    FINALLY, now lets see any progress will happen on these charges..J

    dr ceylon Wednesday, 23 October 2013 08:22 AM

    usa is no more a democratic country.its killer presidents and other ruthless killers in their military is more happier to kill civilians same as hitler,stalin,mao,polpot,idi amin etc did.

    mohamed asfar Wednesday, 23 October 2013 04:40 AM

    it is war crime. UN has no backbone. period.

    Abdul Tuesday, 22 October 2013 10:48 AM

    karma

    suneth Tuesday, 22 October 2013 10:50 AM

    Bad luck diaspora.....

    Prof Wickramatillake Tuesday, 22 October 2013 11:23 PM

    Now what??? Exposure of double standards?


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