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Court: Germany must press the US against drone strikes in Yemen



A court in Germany ruled on Tuesday that the government bears the partial responsibility to ensure that US drone strikes are controlled using an American base on German territory, in accordance with international law, but the United States Judges issued the order prohibiting human rights activists.

The case was brought forward by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights on behalf of three Yemeni claimants alleging that their relatives were killed in a US drone attack in 2012, dismissing their case in 2015 and arriving at the time Concluded that the government had fulfilled its legal obligations and was within its right to reconcile them with "foreign and defense interests".

In a statement, the Münster Administrative Court stated that there was available evidence The US air base Ramstein in southern Germany plays a "central role" in relaying flight control data used in armed drone attacks in Yemen.

Judges Order t The Federal Government takes "appropriate action" to determine whether the use of Ramstein-controlled armed drones is compatible with international law and, if appropriate, to force Washington to comply.

"The judgment of the court in Münster This is an important step to limit the drone program carried out through Ramstein", said Andreas Schüller, lawyer at the European Center for Constitution and Human Rights. "Germany now has to face up to its responsibility for these strikes."

The German Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comments. The US Embassy referred requests to the US military that did not respond immediately.

The court in Münster stated in its statement: "The question of whether international law allows the use of armed drones in Yemen is not a political issue but a legal issue."

The judges put the claim of the German government in Asked that there was no reason to believe that the US had broken the law with the 2012 strike in Hadramawt province, which had killed at least two people, and ordered them to investigate two doubts they raised.

US drone strikes in Yemen targeted suspected Al Qaeda members.

The German judges said public statements by US officials doubt that the American drones target only those who have "uninterrupted combat function" – a legal threshold prevents civilians associated with armed groups from intercepting them However, do not fight actively, be exposed to extrajudicial killings.

The court said the "fundamental meaning" of the case meant that an appeal could be made to the Federal Administrative Court

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Frank Jordan on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/wirereporter


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