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Thursday, Jan 24, 2013, 10:00 am

UN Launches Probe Into U.S. Drone Program

By Ian Becker

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A formal inquiry into the United States' drone program was launched today by Ben Emmerson, a UN special rapporeur on human rights and counter-terrorism. According to a statement released by the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, the investigation will provide "a critical examination of the factual evidence concerning civilian casualties." Emmerson stated that the report is not necessarily an investigation into the actions of any "particular state," but rather a probe into the consequences of "this form of technology."

From Al Jazeera

Chris Woods, a senior journalist at London-based The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) said that "more than 400 US covert drone strikes have so far taken place in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia which have killed at least 3,000 people". On a twitter post from Emmerson's press conference, Woods said that the "inquiry will study 25 drone strikes, where civilians [were] reported killed across Yemen, FATA [Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan], Somalia, Afghanistan and Gaza".

"We believe more than 500 were likely to have been civilians [in those attacks]. The UN inquiry is important because it will focus on the key questions of the legality of such strikes, and the reported deaths of civilians," he told Al Jazeera.

Read more from ITT about the U.S. drone program:

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