New organization in Yemen seeks to criminalize U.S. drone strikes

Published April 2nd, 2014 - 05:00 GMT
Many say the controversial U.S. drone program kills far too many Yemeni civilians. (AFP/File)
Many say the controversial U.S. drone program kills far too many Yemeni civilians. (AFP/File)

A new organization has been founded in Yemen is seeking to bring an end to the deadly US drone program in the country, Press TV reports.

According to the report, the National Organization for Drone Victims has been established by the families of drone victims and rights activists.

They have formed the organization which they say seeks to criminalize the use of US drone strikes in Yemen and to prosecute any official who supports such a policy. They say any government official supporting the US drones should be tried in a criminal court.

“Today, we launch the start of this new organization which will be the starting point for us to get justice and to take legal measures on a national and international scale against anyone who is aiding these crimes,” Mohammad Ali al-qwali, a Yemeni anti-drone activist, said on April 1.

According to the organization, 13 US drone operations were conducted last month in the country, killing over 20 Yemenis.

Earlier this week, a US assassination drone targeted a vehicle in the southern Yemeni province of Abyan, killing an unknown number of people there.

The US administration is under heavy criticism for launching drone raids in Yemen and several other Muslim countries. The airstrikes were initiated under former US president George W. Bush and have been stepped up under incumbent President Barack Obama.

Washington claims that the unmanned US aircraft attacks target al Qaeda militants, but local sources say civilians have been the main victims of the non-UN-sanctioned airstrikes.

On December 15, 2013, the Yemeni parliament strongly condemned the US drone strikes inside the country. The legislature also passed a law banning the drone attacks.

Last October, Human Rights Watch said US drone strikes in Yemen have led to the deaths of many civilians over the past years in a blatant violation of international law.

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