Tag Archive | "civilians"

Legality of the Death of Bin Laden Questioned

The legality of how Bin Laden was killed during the attack – code name: Geronimo – is now under question as he was shot at and killed while unarmed. Bin Laden’s death also diverted attention to the long-standing question about anti-terrorism being under military or law-enforcement campaign.

During wars, enemies who do not explicitly surrender, regardless if armed or not, are taken as legitimate targets. Therefore, international experts said that under the military context, the killing of Bin Laden is legal under the scenarios detailed by the White House on Wednesday – saying that Bin Laden was unarmed but refused and resisted capture.

In direct contrast, human rights laws say that the police must practice the greatest possible restraints and efforts to capture any suspect alive, barring only direct risks to the lives of civilians and police officers. The senior counsel of the Terrorism and Counterterrorism Program of the Human Rights Watch Andrea Prasow said that we have a higher obligation to make sure that lethal force is not used.

Prasow said that they do not have enough detailed accounts of what happened so it is too early to tell if Bin Laden’s killing is lawful or not. They are still looking forward for the White House to release more information about what really transpired during the attack.

The White House stands by the legality of the operation and emphasized on Wednesday that Osama’s killing by a Navy SEAL team was a legitimate operation. US Attorney General Eric Holder said that the killing can be justified as a “national self-defence.”

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Rocket Barrage Unleashed by Gadhafi on a Rebel City

Misrata received a barrage of rockets and shells on Sunday from Moammar Gadhafi’s forces. Despite the bloody weekend, however, rebel forces said that they drove the pro-government forces from Libya’s third largest city. Doctors said that the battle killed 32 people and wounded more in a matter of two days.

The battle in Misrata has been the focal point of armed rebellion in Libya against Gadhafi because it has become impossible to do it elsewhere. In the past two months, the battle has already claimed countless lives.

Videos and photos of Misrata civilians wounded or killed by Gadhafi’s forces and heavy weaponry have caused the international community to give more forceful interventions to help the rebels. Back in Washington, a couple members of the Senate Armed Services Committee believes that more efforts should be implemented to force Gadhafi out of power. They said that they should increase airstrikes, especially on his inner circle.

In the recent days, however, the rebels’ efforts to push Gadhafi out have gained momentum. Just last week, government snipers were forced out of some buildings within the city. Moreover, rebels gained control of Libyan troops’ last position in Misrata – the main hospital – on Sunday.

25-year old Ali Misbah, a Libyan soldier who was captured during one of the fights, said that Gadhafi’s troops are starting to get disheartened. He even said that their spirits are very low because some of the forces that were supposed to be backing them up left them alone.

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