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US robotic weapons : UN alerted

UN: A proposal was submitted to the United Nations to analyze the legal and moral implications of so-called robotic weapons, such as the unmanned planes (drones) used by the United States in Afghanistan.

The initiative suggests the creation of a group of experts on different subjects, from human rights to science, to study the challenges posed by these kinds of weapons.

The proposal was made by the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Christof Heyns, in his report to the General Assembly.

The expert did not mention the issue of the drones directly, but warned that the problem had not been analyzed by human rights and humanitarian law experts.

He also noted the need to establish responsibilities for the civilian casualties caused by those kinds of weapons.

Four months ago, Heyns's predecessor, Philip Alston, denounced at the UN Human Rights Council what he described as selective assassinations committed by U.S. unmanned planes. He said that practice lacks legal foundation, is a violation of norms against extrajudicial executions, and violates the people's right to life.

United Nations, Prensa Latina

Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 @ 23:07:09 LKT by

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