CIA Pakistan drone strikes ‘violation of laws’

Legal experts have warned US legislators that the shadowy CIA drone assassination programme in Pakistan is a “clear violation of international law” that exposes drone pilots to the risk of prosecution.

dronesAt a Wednesday hearing of the House national security and foreign affairs subcommittee in Washington, University of Notre Dame Law School professor Mary Ellen O’Connell said that drone use was only legal on sharply defined battlefields – and only when used by the military.

“Outside of a war or an armed conflict, everyone is a civilian when it comes to the use of lethal force,” Ms O’Connell said.

She insisted that “the combatant’s privilege to kill on the battlefield without being charged with a crime applies inside an armed conflict and not outside.”

Ms O’Connell also said that “only a lawful combatant” – not a CIA agent or a mercenary – could carry out a drone strike.

“The CIA and civilian contractors have no right to do so because they do not wear uniforms and they are not in the military chain of command – and most importantly they are not trained in the law of armed conflict.”

MAP OF DRONE STRIKES IN PAKISTAN- The analyst who produced the map writes:

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