Thursday, October 4, 2012

Extrajudicial Drone Assassinations

Unnecessary and Disproportional: The Killings of Anwar and Abdul Rahman al-Awlaki

One year since the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki CagePrisoners publishes a report which reveals what role he really played in the Al-Qaeda leadership

“As for my husband who was assassinated by a US drone exactly one year from today, I believe strongly that his killing has nothing to do with the allegations by the US that he has links to terrorist attacks, but rather to silence him because of his influence on Muslims in the Western world as a Muslim scholar and preacher…the drone programme is wrong and illegal because it kills a lot more civilians than so called [high] valuable targets.”– Gihan Mohsen Baker, wife of Anwar al-Awlaki

Exactly a year ago, American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in a drone strike carried out by the US in Northern Yemen – only one of scores that are dying as part of a programme of extrajudicial killings.

On the anniversary of his killing, CagePrisoners releases its report “Unnecessary and Disproportional: The Killing of Anwar and Abdul-Rahman al-Awlaki”.

This report analyses and challenges the narrative developed by various governments and media outlets to justify the assassination of the Muslim cleric, presenting him as a leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the mastermind behind several attacks against the USA. The report also highlights how dangerous such a narrative can be as it extends to include the targeting and killing of Awlaki’s 16 year old son, also an American citizen, a few days later.

With only a few weeks left until Election Day, most people will be focused on the election campaigns of President Obama – few will remember that it is under Obama’s leadership that the policy of targeted killings has intensified and expanded.

This report will throw light on the legal and moral inconsistencies that appear as a Nobel Peace Prize winning President continues developing his drone programme enabling him to carry out extra-judicial killings across the globe, picking off targets on a ‘kill list’ once a week.

Through the case study of Anwar and Abdur Rahman al-Awlaki, questions are also raised about the UK’s involvement in targeted killings as more evidence emerges of British citizens that have been killed in drone attacks including evidence to suggest that British authorities actively assist the CIA in its drone programme.

CagePrisoners demands complete transparency in relation to the process by which individuals are placed on President Obama’s ‘kill list’, independent investigations into civilian deaths and injuries during drone strikes and the end to British complicity and the complicity of any other States, with US drone strikes. More

Download full report here