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UN Human Rights Chief Seeks Legal Basis for U.S., Israeli Drone Strikes

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by Publius
Posted August 28, 2013, 4:13 PM

The Associated Press reports:

The U.N. human rights chief is urging the United States and Israel to clarify the legal basis for the use of armed drones in Pakistan, Yemen and Gaza.

Navi Pillay told a U.N. Security Council meeting today on protection of civilians that "the current lack of transparency surrounding their use creates an accountability vacuum and affects the ability of victims to seek redress."

Speaking by videoconference, Pillay said she is "seriously concerned about human rights implications for the protection of civilians of armed drone strikes carried out in the context of counter-terrorism and military operations including in Pakistan, Yemen and Gaza."

"I urge relevant states to clarify the legal basis for such strikes as well as the safeguards in place to ensure compliance with applicable international law," Pillay said.

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George and Swett: U.S. Is Neglecting Religious Freedom Abroad

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by Publius
Posted August 27, 2013, 9:04 AM

Robert George and Katrina Swett of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom ("USCIRF") call on the Obama Administration to review and designate countries that engage in flagrant violations of religious freedom, as it is required to do under the U.S. International Religious Freedom Act. According to the article:

Although religious freedom is a pivotal human right, critical to national security and global stability, key provisions of the landmark International Religious Freedom Act are being neglected years after its passage. A number of studies demonstrates the link between freedom of religion and societal well-being, while its absence correlates closely with instability and violent religious extremism, including terrorism. Many governments, including those topping the U.S. foreign policy and security agendas, perpetrate or tolerate acts of religious repression, such as arbitrary detention, torture and murder.

The International Religious Freedom Act provides vital tools, including identifying and sanctioning the world’s worst violators. But over many years and different administrations, the executive branch has not employed them fully or in a timely manner. With a key deadline for action arriving this month, it is time to confront this unwise failure to act.

Visit the Federalist Society's Global Governance Watch website to stay informed about the latest developments on international organizations, national sovereignty, business and human rights, and defending freedom around the world.

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