Time for UK Government to come clean on Drones

January 24, 2013

Graphic with children and drones

Commenting on today’s announcement by Ben Emerson, QC, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter Terrorism of an inquiry into the civilian impact of drones and other forms of targeted killing,

Reprieve Legal Director, Kat Craig, said:

“Drones have flown under the radar of international oversight and scrutiny for too long. The UN investigation is a welcome step in starting to bring this programme out of the shadows.

“It is essential that the UK Government comes clean about its policy of providing intelligence in support of the CIA’s drone programme in Pakistan.  The British public have a right to know the details of their Government’s involvement in an illegal campaign which has killed hundreds of civilians and terrorised whole communities.”


Notes to editors:

1. For further information, please contact Donald Campbell or Clemency Wells in Reprieve’s press office: +44 (0) 207 553 8166 / donald.campbell [AT] reprieve.org.uk / clemency.wells [AT] reprieve.org.uk

2. Reprieve is currently supporting Noor Khan, a Pakistani man taking legal action against the UK regarding its sharing of intelligence with the US for use in drone strikes in Pakistan. Mr Khan’s father was killed in a drone strike in Pakistan on 17 March, 2011. For further information, see here: http://www.reprieve.org.uk/cases/2012_03_28_noor_khan/

3. For the report by NYU School of Law and Stanford Law School, ‘Living Under Drones: Death, Injury, and Trauma to Civilians from US Drone Practices’, please see here: http://www.reprieve.org.uk/media/downloads/2012_09_24_PUB_Stanford-NYU_LIVING_UNDER_DRONES_Final-embargoed.pdf

4. Reprieve, a legal action charity, uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay. Reprieve investigates, litigates and educates, working on the frontline, to provide legal support to prisoners unable to pay for it themselves. Reprieve promotes the rule of law around the world, securing each person’s right to a fair trial and saving lives.  Clive Stafford Smith is the founder of Reprieve and has spent 25 years working on behalf of people facing the death penalty in the USA.

Reprieve’s current casework involves representing 15 prisoners in the US prison at Guantánamo Bay, assisting over 70 prisoners facing the death penalty around the world, and conducting ongoing investigations into the rendition and the secret detention of ‘ghost prisoners’ in the so-called ‘war on terror.’

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