International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

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The Law and Tech of Two Targeted Killings

The New York Times recently published two fascinating pieces on two separate instances of targeted killings. The first is on the tragic denouement of the 20 years of US presence in Afghanistan – a drone strike conducted on 29 August by the US military in Kabul, purportedly against terrorists planning a second deadly attack against the international airport there. Instead of terrorists, however, the drone strike killed 10 civilians, including seven children; Zemari Ahmadi, the driver of the car struck by the drone was in fact an aid worker for a US NGO, who had hoped to seek asylum in the United States. The US military admitted its error after an investigation by the Times and journalists on the ground. The second piece is a detailed exposé of the 27 November 2020 assassination by Israeli agents of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the scientist leading the Iranian nuclear programme. This was the culmination of a series of such targeted killings of scientists involved in the Iranian nuclear programme,…

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The Endless War Against Human Rights in Afghanistan: Human Rights Defenders’ Joint Statement of Solidarity with the People of Afghanistan

Today, the 31st of August 2021, marks the official deadline for withdrawal of United States troops from Afghanistan after twenty years of military presence initially motivated by the 9/11 attacks of Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden.  Many have written (including Henry Kissinger) about the failures of American foreign policy and its efforts at nation-building…

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Drowning Migrants in the Mediterranean and the ICCPR, Again

Last week 130 migrants perished off the coast of Libya, as their rubber boat capsized in the stormy Mediterranean. Some 750 migrants have died this year in trying to make the crossing. (See here for the IOM report, and here and here for the recent posts we had on this topic…

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Myanmar: Testing the Democratic Norm in International Law

It is official now: history does repeat itself. In 1990, the military regime in Burma, now Myanmar, held elections. To their surprise, the democratic opposition in the shape of the National League of Democracy (NLD) achieved an overwhelming victory. This happened despite the fact that they had taken the precaution of keeping the leader of the NLD, Daw…

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Drowning Migrants, the Human Rights Committee, and Extraterritorial Human Rights Obligations

In this post I will analyse more extensively the two decisions of the UN Human Rights Committee that I flagged previously (A.S. and others v. Malta, CCPR/C/128/D/3043/2017 ; A.S. and others v. Italy, CCPR/C/130/DR/3042/2017), dealing with the failure of Malta and Italy to rescue a group of more than 200…

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