Pakistan citizen sues UK Foreign Office over intelligence sharing for US drone strikes Julia Zebley at 6:36 AM ET
[JURIST] The UK Royal Courts of Justice [official website] on Tuesday are scheduled to hear the lawsuit of a Pakistani citizen who sued the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office [official website] in order to discover the extent and lawfulness of UK government aid to US unmanned drone [JURIST news archive] strikes in Pakistan. Noor Khan, represented by Reprieve [advocacy website; press release], lives in Miranshah, North Waziristan Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) [official website] of Pakistan. Khan's father was killed in a March 2011 drone strike in North Waziristan that killed at least 44 people when it hit a community council meeting that intelligence services targeted as a meeting place for militants. Khan and his representatives are not seeking more information on that particular attack, simply the extent that the UK is aiding the US in drone efforts and for the court to evaluate if those strikes violate international war crimes laws:
As CIA and [Government Communications Headquarters] employees are civilians and not "combatants" they are not entitled to the benefit of immunity from ordinary criminal law ... GCHQ employees who assist CIA employees to direct armed attacks in Pakistan are in principle liable under domestic criminal law as secondary parties to murder and that any policy which involves passing locational intelligence to the CIA for use in drone strikes in Pakistan is unlawful. Evidence suggests that drone strikes in Pakistan are being carried out in violation of international humanitarian law, because the individuals who are being targeted are not directly participating in hostilities and/or because the force used is neither necessary nor proportionate. This suggests that there is also a significant risk that GCHQ officers may be guilty of conduct ancillary to crimes against humanity and/or war crimes, both of which are statutory offences under the International Criminal Court Act 2001.
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