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USA's drones 'manual' must be fully disclosed

‘There already exists a rulebook for these issues: it’s called international law’ - Susan Lee

The use of lethal force by the US government must be in accordance with international law, Amnesty International said this evening, amid reports the USA is finalising a “manual” for targeted killings including drone strikes.

US media over the weekend reported that Barack Obama’s administration is finalising guidelines setting out its counterterrorism policies.

To date, the justifications publicly offered by senior US administration officials have shown only that US government policy appears to permit extrajudicial executions in violation of international law. The “manual” under development would reportedly exclude the CIA’s operations in Pakistan, where reportedly more than 300 drone strikes have killed civilians as well as suspected militants.

Amnesty International Americas Director Susan Lee said:

“There already exists a rulebook for these issues: it’s called international law. Any policy on so-called ‘targeted killings’ by the US government should not only be fully disclosed, but must comply with international law.

“With President Obama beginning his second term in office, now is the time to publicly disclose all relevant legal and factual information relating to US policy and practices for so-called ‘targeted killings' and drone strikes, and send a clear signal that US counter-terrorism operations are not a licence to act above the rule of law.”

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