Germany's role in the US drone warfare
Again and again, the US uses drone strikes to kill individuals they suspect to be terrorists. Again and again, innocent people are killed in the attacks – in many different countries. US drone warfare often violates international law, such as strict rules on preemptive self-defense, right to life guarantees, misusing the application of the law of armed conflict and attacks on individuals without sufficiently determining their status under international law. This results in the deprivation of individuals’ rights.
To date, no legal efforts have managed to stop the US from engaging in these strikes. Instead, the US receives support from a number of European governments, including Germany, through sharing intelligence and allowing the US to operate military bases on European soil.
ECCHR supports litigation on drone attacks
Since 2010, the ECCHR has worked on legal questions regarding drone attacks around the world. Litigation involves a constitutional challenge of the use of US-airbase Ramstein in Germany for drone strikes in Yemen. On the death of German citizen Bünyamin E. in Pakistan, the ECCHR prepared a legal expert opinion criticizing the closure of criminal investigations into the strike by the German Federal Public Prosecutor.
Apart from litigation, the ECCHR serves as focal point for network meetings on drones, connects investigations and litigation with art exhibition and theatre plays. ECCHR staff comment on expert panels and in public debates on the topic from a legal and human rights perspective.