LONDON - Europe’s politicians have voted by a landslide to propose a ban on US drone strikes that have killed thousands in Yemen and Pakistan, calling the killings ‘unlawful’.
The European Parliament voted by a majority of 534 to 49 MEPs to support a resolution demanding that EU Member States “do not perpetrate unlawful targeted killings or facilitate such killings by other states”, and calling on them to “oppose and ban practices of extrajudicial targeted killings.”
Green MEP and chair of the Parliament’s sub-committee on human rights Barbara Lochbihler said: “The European Parliament has today raised serious concerns with the use of military drones and the deaths of thousands of civilians resulting from drone strikes, reported Huffington Post, UK, on Thursday.
“MEPs have delivered a strong rebuke to the practice of targeted aerial killings outside a declared war zone, as well as the use of armed drones in war situations outside of the international legal framework. “The EU needs to address the legal, ethical and security challenges posed by the increasing use of drones, including the urgent need to secure complete transparency and accountability. “The resolution also stresses that EU member states should strictly refrain from participating in or facilitating extrajudicial targeted killings, for instance by sharing relevant information with countries such as the US.”
The UK and Germany will now come under increased pressure to disclose their involvement and tacit condoning of the US drone programme, which both have resisted citing national security concerns. But both countries are believed to have aided the drone programme, a tactic President Barack Obama is known to favour, through intelligence-sharing and the provision of infrastructure at US airbases on their soil.