Drone attacks condemned in UN Human Rights Council

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay expressed serious concern over armed drones.

Geneva: The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, in her opening statement to the 20th session of the HRC, expressed serious concern over the continuing use of armed drones for targeted attacks, in particular because it was unclear that all persons targeted were combatants or directly participating in hostilities.

Pillay urged states to conduct investigation that were transparent, credible and independent and provide victims with effective remedies, reports The Dawn.

Permanent Representative of Pakistan, Ambassador Zamir Akram reiterated the position of the Pakistan Government that drone strikes are contrary to international law and a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty, and is counter-productive.

He called upon the international community to pay heed to the concerns expressed by the High Commissioner and the Special Procedures with regard to drone attacks.

The prominent human rights organisation, Amnesty International, in its statement, also said the drone attacks "disregard human rights law" and that "the carrying out of killings .... represents a fundamental challenge to the whole international system for the protection of human rights."

The American Civil Liberty Union, in its statement, called for "increased transparency and accountability regarding the use of armed drones for targeted killing", and expressed concerns that "U.S. drone killings have not complied with international law requirements mandating the protection of civilians".