In a lengthy Twitter thread, Agnès Callamard said that “outside the context of active hostilities, the use of drones or other means for targeted killing is almost never likely to be legal,” adding that the U.S. would need to prove the person targeted constituted an imminent threat to others.
She also took issue with the justification for using drones in another country on the basis of self-defense.
“Under customary international law States can take military action if the threatened attack is imminent, no other means would deﬂect it, and the action is proportionate,” she wrote.
“The test for so-called anticipatory self-defense is very narrow: it must be a necessity that is ‘instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means, and no moment of deliberation.’ This test is unlikely to be met in these particular cases,” she added.
Callamard noted that “an individual’s past involvement in ‘terrorist’ attacks is not sufficient to make his targeting for killing lawful.”
The French human rights expert also criticized the Pentagon’s statement about the airstrike.
This story originally appeared in the New York Post. For more from the Post, click here.