For Immediate Release
US Drone Killed Two Hostages: Reprieve Comment
NEW YORK - Commenting on today's news that a US drone mistakenly killed two hostages, an Italian and an American, in a January strike, Reprieve US attorney Alka Pradhan, who represents other civilian victims of drone attacks, said:
"It's right that the White House has come clean and admitted its tragic mistake in killing these hostages, and our hearts go out to their families.
"It's worth remembering, however, that Dr. Weinstein and Mr Lo Porto are far from the first innocents to die by our drones, and in no other case has the US apologized for its mistake.
"The White House is setting a dangerous precedent - that if you are Western and hit by accident we'll say we are sorry, but we'll put up a stone wall of silence if you are a Yemeni or Pakistani civilian who lost an innocent loved one. Inconsistencies like this are seen around the world as hypocritical, and do the United States' image real harm.
"Greater transparency is just the start of what we need: we also need a fundamental reassessment of whether the secret drone war does more harm than good."
Reprieve is a UK-based human rights organization that uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay.