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News > World

UK Accused of Creating Extra-Judicial ‘Kill List’

  • A photograph of a UK military drone.

    A photograph of a UK military drone. | Photo: Reuters

Published 11 April 2016

Britain's involvement in creating an extra-judicial "kill list" is revealed in a new report from Reprieve.

A secret assassination list has been held by the British government for at least 14 years, targeting people in countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen, the human rights organization Reprieve revealed Sunday.

The detailed 50-page document also argues that U.K. lawmakers were "misled” by the Conservative and previous Labour governments regarding the scope and detail of Britain's unauthorized drone assassination program.

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According to the report, the so-called "kill list" was known about by government officials for years and was continually updated despite it never having been approved by Parliament.

The 50-page report also details how the U.K. conspired with the United States following 9/11, even targeting people who had no involvement in terrorism including up to 50 Afghan drug traffickers who have been on the list since 2009.

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The report goes on to allege that British police worked in conjunction with officials from the Government Communiations Headquarters, or GCHQ, and Britain's Joint Narcotics Analysis Centre to select the targets.

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People who met a certain criteria were placed on the list, also known as the Joint Prioritized Effects List, or JPEL, resulting in their potential arrest or extra-judicial killing.

"In the case of the JPEL Kill List, the pretext of terrorism cannot be used to target those who are better defined as simple criminals, such as drug traffickers,” the report asserts.

The authors of the report point out that JPEL's targeted assassination of individuals may have violated international human rights law, which only allows the use of lethal force outside of armed conflict situations if it is strictly necessary to save human lives.

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