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Surveillance, Security and Human Rights

    January 21, 2013

    The use of lethal force by the US government must be in accordance with international law, Amnesty International said amid reports the USA is finalizing a “manual” for targeted killings including drone strikes.

    US media over the weekend reported that the administration of Barack Obama is finalizing guidelines setting out its counterterrorism policies.

    “There already exists a rulebook for these issues – it is called international law. Any policy on so-called ‘targeted killings’ by the US government should not only be fully disclosed, but must comply with international law,” said Susan Lee, Americas Program Director at Amnesty International.

    To date, the justifications publicly offered by senior Obama administration officials have shown only that US government policy appears to permit extrajudicial executions in violation of international law.

    October 09, 2012

    How long was Omar Khadr in US custody?
    Omar Khadr was held in US custody for over ten years. He was detained at the age of 15 during a firefight in Afghanistan in July 2002. Although seriously injured, his interrogation started in the detention facility in Bagram. He was later transferred to Guantánamo Bay in October 2002 after he had turned 16.

    In October 2010, he was sentenced to 40 years in detention by a military commission, reduced to 8 years in a plea agreement with no credit for time served. After one further year in detention in Guantánamo, Omar Khadr because eligible for a transfer to Canadian custody in October 2011. He was transferred to Canada on September 29, 2012.

    December 16, 2011

    Guantánamo continues to be a location for indefinite military incarceration and occasional military commission trials. There are individuals still detained who should be brought to justice on charges of responsibility in relation to the 11 September 2001 attacks. Currently, however, those accused of involvement in the 9/11 attacks and other serious crimes face capital trial at Guantánamo before military commissions that do not meet international fair trial standards. Amnesty International urges the USA to close this detention facility and to adopt an approach to countering terrorism that incorporates full respect for its international human rights obligations.

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