London, July 6 (ANI): Britain’s most senior Law Lord, until last year, Lord Bingham has said the usage of unmanned drones as weapons of war is beyond the pale of human tolerance.
In an interview with the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Lord Bingham compared drones, which have killed hundreds of civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Gaza, with cluster bombs and landmines.
“Are there, for example, and this goes to conflict, not post-conflict situations, weapons that ought to be outlawed? From time to time in the history of international law various weapons have been thought to be so cruel as to be beyond the pale of human tolerance. I think cluster bombs and landmines are the most recent examples,” The Independent quoted Lord Bingham, as saying.
His comments are bound to intensify calls for new international rules to protect civilian populations from arbitrary attacks launched by the pilotless craft.
According to a Human Rights Watch report: “Despite having advanced surveillance equipment, drone operators failed to exercise proper caution “as required by the laws of war” in verifying their targets were combatants.”
Drones have become an important US weapon against the Taliban in the remote mountainous borderlands of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Britain has said it plans to use drones as weapons. The Army already deploys them to gather battlefield intelligence.
Recently, Israel was accused of using missile-firing drones to unlawfully kill at least 29 Palestinian civilians during the Gaza Strip war.
Earlier, Lord Bingham had questioned the legality of the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the US, the UK and allies.
He said that the invasion and occupation of Iraq was “a serious violation of international law”, and he accused Britain and the US of acting like a “world vigilante”. (ANI)