U.N. Special Rapporteur Release Report on Drone Strikes and Soleimani Killing

Elliot Setzer
Wednesday, July 8, 2020, 4:09 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
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The U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions on July 6 submitted a report claiming the January done strike in Iraq that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani constituted a violation of international law.

The report by Agnes Callamard discusses the proliferation of drones and their legal implications under international law, and makes recommendations designed to regulate their use and increase accountability for targeted killings by armed drones. It examines the legality of the targeted killing of Soleimani as a case study.

The special rapporteur finds that “in light of the evidence that the US has provided to date, the targeting of General Soleimani, and the deaths of those accompanying him, constitute an arbitrary killing which, under IHRL [International Human Rights Law], the US is responsible." Callamard adds that "The strike was in violation of Art. 2(4) of the UN Charter with insufficient evidence provided of an ongoing or imminent attack.”

You can read an advance unedited version of the report here and below:

Elliot Setzer is a Knight-Hennessy Scholar at Stanford Law School and a Ph.D student at Yale University. He previously worked at Lawfare and the Brookings Institution.

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