Rights Watch (UK) taking UK government to court over refusal to disclose legal basis for targeted killings


Today, Rights Watch (UK) is before the Upper Tribunal to appeal the government’s refusal to disclose the legal advice, or summary of it, that formed the basis of the lethal drone strike that killed two British citizens, Reyaad Khan and Ruhul Amin, in August 2015. The strike, which the then Prime Minister David Cameron described … Continue reading Rights Watch (UK) taking UK government to court over refusal to disclose legal basis for targeted killings

Hidden from the Public: The United Kingdom’s Drone Warfare


The use of armed drones by the United States, both within the conflict zones of Iraq and Syria, and further afield in Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen, continues to be characterized by minimal public transparency, as the recent report, “Out of the Shadows,” released by Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Clinic and the Sana’a Center for Strategic … Continue reading Hidden from the Public: The United Kingdom’s Drone Warfare

Court ruling dismisses the challenge to halt UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia


Court ruling that UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia are lawful gives UK government green light to continue to prioritise a ‘strategic relationship’ and financial gain over the lives of Yemeni civilians Despite damning and voluminous evidence by the United Nations, the European Parliament and many NGOs, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, that … Continue reading Court ruling dismisses the challenge to halt UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia

Human Rights and National Security at the UK’s Universal Periodic Review


Last month the United Kingdom was under the microscope at the Universal Periodic Review – a peer review mechanism that sees each UN Member State’s record scrutinised for its compliance with their international obligations every four years. During the interactive dialogue, 94 States made statements on the UK’s record. Concerns arising from the UK’s counter … Continue reading Human Rights and National Security at the UK’s Universal Periodic Review

Queen’s Speech 2017: UK Government to strengthen widely criticised counter extremism policy, despite serious human rights concerns


Rights Watch (UK) urges Government to address human rights implications of Prevent before pressing ahead with counter extremism agenda outlined in Queen’s Speech. Today, the Queen’s Speech affirmed that the Conservative minority Government intend to establish a commission for countering extremism ‘to support the government in stamping out extremist ideology in all its forms’. The … Continue reading Queen’s Speech 2017: UK Government to strengthen widely criticised counter extremism policy, despite serious human rights concerns

Rights Watch UK on BBC’s The Big Questions discussing Humanitarian Intervention


On Sunday May 7, 2017 Yasmine Ahmed, Rights Watch UK’s Executive Director, appeared on the BBC’s The Big Questions, hosted by Nicky Campbell. Yasmine joined a panel, which among others included Mukesh Kapila, professor of global health and humanitarian affairs at Manchester University and Kirsty McNeil of Save the Children, to discuss the effectiveness and … Continue reading Rights Watch UK on BBC’s The Big Questions discussing Humanitarian Intervention

Limited accountability: targeted killing, the ISC and the UK’s international legal obligations


    L Last month, the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament (‘the ISC’) published its long-awaited report, UK Lethal Drone Strikes in Syria. The report sheds some light on the threat posed by the target of the UK’s drone strike, Reyaad Khan, but ultimately the report shows just how limited the ISC’s oversight function … Continue reading Limited accountability: targeted killing, the ISC and the UK’s international legal obligations

No impunity for state violence in Northern Ireland


Rights Watch (UK) calls on the Government to immediately reject the Defence Committee’s calls to impose a statute of limitations  The House of Commons Defence Select Committee issued a deeply concerning report today that called on the UK Government to grant impunity to British soldiers who committed abuses during the three decades of violence in … Continue reading No impunity for state violence in Northern Ireland

Intelligence and Security Committee ‘profoundly’ disappointed with Government’s lack of transparency on Syria drone strike


Today, the Intelligence and Security Committee published its Report ‘UK Lethal Drone Strikes in Syria’. The Report expresses disappointment at the Government’s failure to disclose vital documents, which hindered the Committee’s investigation. The Report investigates the UK’s targeted killing of Reyaad Khan, which was carried out in Syria in August 2015 without prior Parliamentary approval. … Continue reading Intelligence and Security Committee ‘profoundly’ disappointed with Government’s lack of transparency on Syria drone strike