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UN rights chief challenges Israel, US on drones

Navi Pillay asks for clarification on legal basis for use of armed drones in Gaza, Pakistan and Yemen

UNITED NATIONS — The UN human rights chief is urging the United States and Israel to clarify the legal basis for the use of armed drones in Pakistan, Yemen and Gaza.

Navi Pillay told a UN Security Council meeting Monday on protection of civilians that “the current lack of transparency surrounding their use creates an accountability vacuum and affects the ability of victims to seek redress.”

Speaking by video conference, Pillay said she is “seriously concerned about human rights implications for the protection of civilians of armed drone strikes carried out in the context of counter-terrorism and military operations including in Pakistan, Yemen and Gaza.”

“I urge relevant states to clarify the legal basis for such strikes as well as the safeguards in place to ensure compliance with applicable international law,” Pillay said.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press

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