Rights Groups Urge President Obama to Address Concerns, New Questions on Drone Strikes

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Open Society Foundations joined leading human and civil rights organizations to ask President Obama to address new questions and long-standing concerns regarding drone strikes.

The letter renews concerns expressed by the organizations in a previous letter and joint statement sent to President Obama earlier this year. The current letter notes that despite the president’s welcome commitment to greater transparency in a speech at the National Defense University in May, his remarks did not address important questions about U.S. policy. Since then, the U.S. government has not disclosed any new information about its targeted killing program.

Meanwhile, reports by the media and human rights groups suggest that U.S. drone strikes have killed and injured civilians and resulted in unlawful killings.

The letter urges the Obama administration to investigate these and other credible reports of potentially unlawful deaths and civilian harm, make good on its commitment to greater transparency, and take steps to ensure the legality of drone strike operations.

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The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. Working with local communities in more than 100 countries, the Open Society Foundations support justice and human rights, freedom of expression, and access to public health and education.