Nineteen organizations are concerned about possible EU member countries´ complicity in the US armed drones programme.
The organizations, including members of the European Forum on Armed Drones (EFAD) and human rights organizations from Somalia and Yemen, expressed their concern in a statement released this week even as the US government is scaling up its targeted killing programme with armed drones.
There is particular concern with German, Italian, British and Dutch complicity in the US armed drones programme. A recent Amnesty International report outlined the possible involvement of these states in the secret US drone program through sharing intelligence and providing facilities. These drone strikes have led to the killing of numerous civilians, and many more wounded, without any accountability or remediation given by the US.
PAX also signed the statement, acknowledging the need for Europe to push back against the US practice of extrajudicial killings with armed drones. The Netherlands also faced criticism for providing meta-data to the US which could be used for targeting individuals. There is an ongoing court-case by a Somali shepherd against the Dutch government for its potential complicity in a US drone strike that lead to the death of his two daughters.
PAX is urging the Dutch government to take a clear position on the use of armed drones, in particular on their use in counter-terrorism operations outside areas under armed conflict. PAX also is actively working within the European Union and the United Nations to promote a multilateral approach towards the use and proliferation of armed drones.
Read the statement here.