UN official condemns use of armed drones

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay

ISLAMABAD: In one the strongest indictments yet from a top UN official, the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva has stated that lack of transparency in the use of armed drones has created a legal and accountability vacuum. Ms Navi Pillay also said Monday that “measures that violate human rights do not uproot terrorism, they nurture it.” It is for the first time that a top UN official has come out with stern condemnation of US policy on these sensitive subjects.

The reports received from the UN Geneva headquarters suggested that the statement was promptly welcomed by Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Zamir Akram, who told the Human Rights Council that Pillay’s remarks vindicated Pakistan’s argument over measures in the context of the use of drones, torture, renditions and illegal detention centers like Guantanamo and Bagram. 

Akram has worked assiduously to raise these issues and assert Pakistan’s principled position on them. Pillay, speaking Monday at the opening of the spring session of the UN’s Human Rights Council, said she had received allegations of “very grave violations of human rights that have taken place in the context of counter-terrorist and counter-insurgency operations.” She said that trying to fight terrorism by limiting personal freedoms and mistreating suspects could only worsen the problem.

Source: The News

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