UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings, Philip Alston: Record AfPak Drone Attacks Under Obama May Violate International Law
Investigative reporter Jane Mayer of The New Yorker magazine revealed last week that the number of US drone strikes in Pakistan has risen dramatically under President Obama. During his first nine-and-a-half months in office, Obama authorized at least forty-one CIA missile strikes in Pakistan—a rate of approximately one bombing a week. We speak to one of the most high-profile critics of the US drone program: Philip Alston, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. Alston says the US government’s use of Predator drones may violate international law. [includes rush transcript]
Philip Alston, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. He is also a professor of law at New York University and co-chair of the law school’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice.
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NEW YORK – The U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings called for a special prosecutor to investigate the policies and practices that have led to unlawful deaths and other abuses in the United States’ international operations. In a report made public late yesterday, Special Rapporteur Philip Alston said there have been “chronic and deplorable accountability failures with respect to policies, practices and conduct that led to alleged unlawful killings.”
Alston’s report also highlights issues of unlawful deaths within the U.S. for which the government may be responsible, including flaws in the death penalty system that increase the likelihood that innocent people will be executed and deaths in immigration detention.
The following can be attributed to Jamil Dakwar, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union Human Rights Program: