Friday, November 27, 2020

Berlin has no obligation to ensure US doesn’t commit war crimes with drone strikes from Germany, court rules — RT World News

 Berlin will no longer be required to ensure that US drone strikes coordinated through an air base in Germany are in line with international law, a top court has ruled, in a “severe blow” to a case brought by human rights groups.

The Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig concluded that the government has no obligation to guarantee US strikes are in line with humanitarian law beyond basic assurances from US authorities, overturning a ruling from last year that made Berlin partially responsible for such operations.

The case was brought in 2014 by human rights groups on behalf of three Yemeni plaintiffs, who charge that family members were killed by American drones in 2012, and that those strikes used flight control data relayed through the US air base in Ramstein, Germany. One of the plaintiffs, Faisal bin Ali Jaber, called Wednesday’s ruling a “severe blow.”

“My family cannot live free from fear while these drones, flown with Germany’s help, hover over our community in Yemen, threatening to bring death and destruction,” he said.

    The German government must stop the use of Ramstein for drone attacks.

The decision restores a lower court ruling handed down in 2015, which found that because the government had already informed Washington of its duty to obey international law, it had no further obligation to ensure compliance, adding that “German authorities have very limited influence on foreign troops' use of the [air base].”

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