Remarkable statement by Human Rights Watch on targeted killings

Is there a rift in the human rights community on targeted killings? Benjamin Wittes suggests there is one after reading Tom Malinowki’s comments on the use of drones in Yemen here.

“Our position on targeted killing is that its use can be legally justified so long as it is limited to situations involving a combatant on a genuine battlefield or its equivalent beyond the reach of law enforcement, or in a law enforcement situation when the threat to life is imminent and there is no alternative. A case could be made that these conditions have been at times met in Yemen–for example, if there is credible evidence that a targeted individual is planning attacks on the U.S., the threat is imminent, and he or she is in a place where an arrest operation would be impossible.”


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