The British government is being sued over its alleged role in supplying information to a secret “kill list’’ used by American forces to bomb targets in Afghanistan.
An Afghan man, who lost five members of his family in a missile attack, has launched legal proceedings against the Ministry of Defence and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) seeking an explanation of Britain’s involvement “in the compilation, review and execution of the list and what form it takes”, The Guardian reported on Friday.
The list, officially known as the Joint Integrated Prioritised Target List (JIPTL), includes names of people that the coalition forces in Afghanistan have identified as targets for attacks.
A report of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations said the military placed “no restrictions on the use of force with these selected targets, which means they can be killed or captured on the battlefield’’.
Habib Rahman, a bank employee who is suing the British Government, lost two brothers, two uncles and his father-in-law in an attack on September 2, 2010 when they were campaigning for his cousin Abdul Wahab Khorasani, a former parliamentary candidate, in the Rustaq district of Takhar province.
NATO officials said at the time the attack was “a precision air strike” which killed or injured “eight to 12 insurgents”, including a Taliban commander.
According to Mr. Rahman’s lawyers, an investigation by the Afghanistan Analysts Network provides “powerful evidence” that his relatives were victims of mistaken targeting. They want to know whether such attacks were in breach of international law.
“We need to know whether the rule of law is being followed and that safeguards are in place to prevent what could be clear breaches of international law,” said Rosa Curling from the solicitors’ firm acting for Mr. Rahman.
She said her client's case suggested that “the establishment and maintenance of the ‘kill list’ is not in line with the U.K.’s duties under international humanitarian law’’.
SOCA and the Ministry of Defence insisted that they worked “strictly within the bounds of international law’’.