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AFP
July 8, 2020

US killing of Iran’s top general ‘unlawful’: UN expert

World

AFP
July 8, 2020

The US drone strike that killed Iran’s top general Qasem Soleimani was "unlawful", the United Nations expert on extrajudicial killings concluded in a report released on Tuesday.

Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, concluded it was an "arbitrary killing" that violated the UN charter. The US had provided no evidence that an imminent attack against US interest was being planned, she wrote.

The independent rights expert does not speak for the United Nations but reports her findings to it. Her report on targeted killings through armed drones -- around half of which deals with the Soleimani case -- is to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva on Thursday.

The United States withdrew from the council in 2018. US President Donald Trump ordered the killing of Soleimani in a January 3 drone strike near Baghdad international airport.

Soleimani, a national hero at home, was "the world’s top terrorist" and "should have been terminated long ago", Trump said at the time. Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was also killed in the drone strike.

"In light of the evidence that the US has provided to date, the targeting of General Soleimani, and the deaths of those accompanying him, constitute an arbitrary killing for which, under IHRL (international human rights law), the US is responsible," Callamard said in her report. She said the strike violated the UN Charter, with "insufficient evidence provided of an ongoing or imminent attack," she wrote.