GENEVA / DRONES HEYNES

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20-Jun-2012 00:01:56
The top UN expert on executions today called on the international community to set a clear legal framework for the use of drones and other targeted killings, to avoid a dangerous precedent being set. UNTV

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STORY: GENEVA / DRONES HEYNES
TRT: 1.56
SOURCE: CH UNTV
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 20 JUNE 2012, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

FILE – 2011, PALAIS DES NATIONS, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, exterior Palais des Nations

20 JUNE 2012, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. SOUNDBITE (English) Christof Heyns, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial summary and arbitrary executions:
“My concern is that we are dealing here with a situation that creates precedence around the world. Not only for one particular country, for one particular administration, but this is technology that develops very fast and its almost as if there’s a genie that's about to come out of a bottle and unless the international community focuses on this, and not only this particular country but I think across the board, to establish and re-establish the legal framework within which this takes place. I think we're in for very dangerous precedents that can be used by countries on all sides.”
3. Cutaway, journalists listening
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Christof Heyns, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions:
“I don't think we have a full answer to the legal framework and we certainly don't have the answer to the accountability issues. How are these decisions taken? Also the effect on citizens, civilians, how are these decisions taken in the first place and the numbers that are involved and also the effect in terms of accountability when civilians are also killed. The standards, also if one looks at the recent newspaper reports that came out, how are the direct participants in hostilities, how are they identified, the legitimate targets as opposed to the civilians? Is it simply everybody who's around someone who's considered to be a legitimate target - those things are very worrying and certainly those are things that I will follow up on.
5. Med shot, Christof Heyns talking to journalist
6. Tracking shot, Heyns entering Human Rights Council
7. Med shot, over shoulder Heyns in Council
8. Close up, United States delegation’s seat
9. Wide shot, Human Rights Council Room

STORYLINE:

The top United Nations expert on executions called on the international community to set a clear legal framework for the use of drones and other targeted killings, in order to avoid a dangerous precedent being set.

In his Report to the Human Rights Council, meeting for three weeks in Geneva, Chrisof Heyns, called for more transparency and accountability by the US in its drone strike program and targeted killings, and said that, unless a framework was developed and adhered to, other countries could follow this precedent.

Speaking to journalists today before returning to the debate in the Council, Heyns said that the unanswered questions on how US decisions were made regarding identification of targets, statistics on drones fired and accountability regarding the killing of civilians, were very worrying and that he would be following up on this issue.

The 20th session of the Human Rights Council will run until 6 July and will debate reports from independent experts tasked with investigating different human rights issues across the globe.

Heyns was reporting to the Council following country visits by his predecessor to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Colombia and the United States.

The South African lawyer's mandate is to investigate extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.
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