Reprieve is a legal charity which seeks to uphold the rule of law and the rights of individuals around the world—with a specific focus on death penalty cases and abuses committed under the umbrella of the “War on Terror”. It has submitted written evidence to Parliament’s Defence Committee in this regard. It makes strong reference to Britain carrying out covert air strikes outside of declared warzones—primarily, in Pakistan, Somalia and the like. Reprieve’s investigations have included the role played by the UK in facilitating the covert strikes carried out by US bodies including the CIA and JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command). As part of its work, Reprieve also represents a number of relatives of civilians killed—in Reprieve’s view, illegally—in such covert strikes. You can read the submissions HERE.
Much of the evidence and commentary provided by Reprieve is about the existing overlap between UK and US drone activity, in terms of covert strikes in non-warzones providing an insight to the close military ties the two countries have. Another useful archive of information is provided by Chris Cole at DroneWarsUK HERE.
At this point is should be noted that much of Reprive’s report is littered with evidence provided by undisputed documentation published by WikiLeaks and in this, the British government have been exposed by the ‘War Diaries’ – hardly surprising then that Julian Assange is being treated the way he is by the state.
Reprieve’s submitted evidence highlights the UK’s apparent areas of overlap with the US drones programme, which risks implicating Britain in violations of international law of the most serious nature. However, what is less well known is another report by Reprieve, largely suppressed by the mainstream media – that of a state-sponsored assassination programme.
To the uninitiated, this is the stuff of conspiracy theories – usually reserved for American movies. And to some extent, readers may well accept that ‘drone-strikes’ are part of the technological advances of war. They may also take the attitude that the killing of the disaffected and dangerous extremists who join the likes of ISIS is fair game. It is not.
Delving deeper into the report something else emerges. First, there is the obvious legal question of extra-judicial killings. That the British state can murder anyone without even finding them guilty in a court case says something about its current legal trajectory.
“On September 7th, 2015, Prime Minister David Cameron came to Parliament and announced a “new departure” for Britain, a policy of killing individuals the Security Services and the military do not like, people placed on a list of individuals who the UK (acting along with the US and others) have identified and systematically plan to kill. The mere admission that there is a Kill List certainly should, indeed, have been a “departure” for a country that prides itself on decency. Unfortunately, it was not a “new departure” at all, as we had been doing it secretly for more than a decade.”'
Read more: Britain’s Assassination Programme Stretching Back To 9/11
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