ScanEagle is an unarmed surveillance drone that is to be used in a maritime role by the Royal Navy. This latest contract makes the sixth type of unmanned drone that UK forces have in their arsenal with all three services – army, air force and navy – now operating unmanned drones. Read more →
“it is highly likely that the UK’s current use of drones is unlawful. There is a strong probability that the UK has misdirected itself as to the requirements of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) principles of proportionality, distinction and humanity and as to its human rights obligation to protect human life and to investigate all deaths (civilians and combatants alike) arguably caused in breach of that obligation.”
Six anti-drone protesters (myself included) were arrested inside RAF Waddington on Monday (June 3). The protest had three aims; 1) to symbolically breach the secrecy and silence surrounding the British use of armed drones; 2) to bring information about the impact of airstrikes on Afghan civilians and 3) to symbolically begin conversion of the air base to peaceful purposes. We did this by creating a peace garden within the base, displaying information on buildings, hangars and sign posts about the impact of airstrikes on Afghan civilians (see bottom of post) and trying to find out information about the day-to-day use of drones at Waddington. Read more →
Although we don’t know the exact day (all the MoD reported at the time was that it had taken place ‘in the past week’), subsequent MoD reports have dated UK drones strikes back to late May 2008. The location of the strike, why it occurred and, if anyone was killed, who they were, all remain secret.
In the five years since, the Ministry of Defence has refused to answer many questions about its use of armed drones. Freedom of Information requests and questions asked by MPs in the House of Commons have been repeatedly refused on security grounds or that to answer would endanger our relationship with another state (no prizes for guessing who that is). Read more →