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 The pilotless ‘Heron’ drone can fly more than 24 hours at a time
The pilotless ‘Heron’ drone can fly more than 24 hours at a time; The 27th session of the Human Rights Council canvassed the use of unmanned armed drones and expressed concern at the resulting human rights violations
© EPA/Jim Hollander

Armed drones: calls for greater transparency and accountability

The use of remotely piloted aircraft or armed drones has grown exponentially in counter-terrorism measures and military operations. The human rights impact on individuals and communities is grave and wide ranging.
 
The Human Rights Council brings the debate on this issue to the fore, urging States to be more transparent and to promptly investigate allegations of violations.


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 Refugees in the Bahirka Camp near Erbil in Northern Iraq © UNAMI

Community, religious leaders must condemn ISIL ‘atrocities’ – UN rights official

Civilians continue to suffer atrocities and “dramatic” human rights violations at the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), warned United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Mr. Ivan Šimonović, as he concluded his week-long mission to Iraq.



 Mexican human rights attorney Alejandra Ancheita, receives the 2014 Martin Ennals Award from UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein © Martin Ennals Foundation

Mexican attorney receives top human rights defender award

Mexican human rights attorney Alejandra Ancheita is the latest recipient of the Martin Ennals Human Rights Defender Award. The Geneva-based award is granted annually to a person who has an exceptional record of fighting against human rights violations.



Human Rights in the news

Zeid condemns DRC threats
UN human rights chief condemns the DRC's decision to expel his top official and calls for an end to threats made against other human rights staff in the country.

Iraq death penalty use 'alarming'
A report by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights documents the alarming rise in executions in Iraq since the death penalty was restored in the country in 2005.

A drone is not a cop
UN Special Rapporteur on summary executions Christof Heyns raises alarm on the use of technologies that depersonalise the use of force –including armed drones– in domestic law enforcement.

Detroit’s water shut-offs
The unprecedented scale of water shut-offs is disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable and poorest people, most of them African American, warn two UN human rights experts.

Concern over Venezuela detainees
Zeid calls on the Venezuelan authorities to immediately release opposition leader Leopoldo López and dozens of other people arrested during public protests since February 2014.

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