Rights Group to ICC: Investigate NATO Allies' Complicity in US Drone War

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Common Dreams

Rights Group to ICC: Investigate NATO Allies' Complicity in US Drone War

"There can surely be no doubt that facilitating the deaths of thousands of civilians... constitutes war crimes."

by
Andrea Germanos, staff writer

The International Criminal Court has been urged to investigate possible war crimes committed by NATO member states for their role in aiding the U.S. drone war in Pakistan.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates that the hundreds of drone strikes the United States has launched on Pakistan since 2004 have killed 416-951 civilians, including as many as 200 children.

NATO members including the UK, Germany and Australia have been linked to providing the U.S. with intelligence used to carry out drone strikes.

The submission brought to the Court includes 13 case studies, UK-based charity Reprieve explained to Common Dreams, including that of Kareem Khan, a Pakistani anti-drone campaigner and journalist whose son and brother were killed in a 2009 drone attack.

Shahzad Akbar, lawyer for Kareem Khan and Director of legal charity the Foundation for Fundamental Rights, described him as "not only a victim, but an important voice for all other civilians killed and injured by US drone strikes."

Khan, who has sued the CIA over the drone attack, was abducted two weeks ago in Pakistan ahead of a planned meeting with members of the UK, German and Dutch Parliaments and testimony at the ICC. He was released after a week, during which time he said he was tortured and interrogated about his investigations of U.S. drone strikes.

"There can surely be no doubt that facilitating the deaths of thousands of civilians – as NATO allies are doing in a plethora of ways – constitutes war crimes," Kat Craig, Reprieve’s legal director, said in a statement.

"The International Criminal Court, established specifically to hold overwhelming state power to account, is in a unique position to offer some semblance of justice to individual drone victims with nowhere else to go. They must take this complaint seriously and investigate," Craig stated.

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