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Ben Emmerson, The UN Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights

Forensic Architecture in collaboration with SITU Research

Forensic Architecture Research Team:
Eyal Weizman (Principal Investigator); Susan Schuppli (Senior Research Fellow, Project Coordinator); Jacob Burns (Research Assistant); Steffen Kraemer (Researcher, Film Editor); Reiner Beelitz (Architectural Modelling); Francesco Sebregondi (Researcher); and Chris Cobb-Smith (Research Advisor)

SITU Research Team:
McKenna Cole; Akshay Mehra; Charles-Antoine Perrault; Bradley Samuels; and Xiaowei Wang

Amal Alamuddin, Philippa Webb, Annie O’Reilly, Jessica Dorsey, Sajid Suleman, Anna Bonini, Dawood Ahmed, Krista Nelson, Kristen Johnson and Matthew Oresman and all of their team at Patton Boggs, LLP, Peter Vedel Kessing, Michelle Lesh, Alon Margalit, Siavash Rahbari, Jessica Corsi, Lisa Hajjar, Eliav Lieblich, Mike Canada, Joshua Andresen, Ulrike Franke, Misa Zgonec-Rozej, John Jones QC, Todd Pierce and Colleen Rowley, Iain Morley, QC, Jasmine Zerinini, Pippa Woodrow, Ella Batchelor, Rehana Popal, Nathan Rasiah, James Edenborough, Sarika Arya, Alinda Vermeer, Bridget Prince, Chris Woods, Benedicte Diot, Johanna Hortolani, Blinne Ni Ghralaigh

During his visit to Pakistan in March 2013 the Special Rapporteur was provided with Ministry of Foreign Affairs statistics recording at least 330 RPA strikes in the Federally Administered Tribal Area of Pakistan (FATA) since 2004. Government records showed that the total number of deaths caused by RPA strikes was at least 2,200 and that in addition at least 600 people had suffered serious injuries. Officials pointed out that efforts to identify the exact number of deceased (and therefore to establish the exact number of civilian deaths) were hampered by security concerns and by topographical and institutional obstacles to effective and prompt investigation on the ground by officials working on behalf of the FATA Secretariat, as well as by the cultural tradition of Pashtun tribes in the FATA region to bury their dead as soon as possible. Nonetheless, the Special Rapporteur was informed that the Government has been able to confirm that at least 400 civilians had been killed as a result of RPA strikes, and a further 200 individuals were regarded as probable non-combatants. Officials indicated that due to under-reporting and obstacles to effective investigation, these figures are likely to be an under-estimate.

There was a marked drop in reported civilian casualties from attacks by remotely piloted aircraft in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan during 2012 (both in absolute terms and as a per centage of overall fatalities), a trend that appeared to have continued during the first half of 2013. He welcomed, in that context, the August 2013 statement of the United States Secretary of State to the effect that there was a clearly defined timeline for ending drone strikes in Pakistan. Figures to the end of 2013 confirm that there has been a significant de-esclation in the number of recorded drone strikes in Pakistan.1 The total number of reported strikes for the year was 27, down from a peak of 128 in 2010. For the first time in nine years, there were no confirmed reports of civilian casualties during 2013. At the time of writing there have been no reported drone strikes during 2014, the longest pause since the US campaign in Pakistan began. The current cessation in strikes coincides with peace initiatives being pursued between the Government of Pakistan and the Tehrik-i-Taliban.

1 John Kerry says Pakistan drone strikes could end as bilateral talks resume