An extraordinary story has just emerged from the human rights charity reprieve.org.uk who, as they say “help people who suffer extreme human rights abuses at the hands of the world’s most powerful governments”.
Their recently published report entitled Britain’s Kill List accuses the Conservative government of extreme deception of parliament and therefore all citizens of Britain and the world more widely. Officially, Britain has never had a so-called ‘kill list’ but David Cameron had to admit to a limited extra judicial assassinations programme a few months ago, which we reported. There was little establishment media coverage and even less public response. But no-one thought this programme was as extensive and broad as has just been unearthed.
David Cameron’s first speech as Prime Minister on May 11th 2010 falsely gave us some hope and can now only be seen as something as hypocrisy on steroids.
If there’s one thing I’ve noticed since doing this job, it’s how all the information about government – the money it spends, where it spends it, the results it achieves – how so much of it is locked away in a vault marked sort of ‘private for the eyes of Ministers and officials only …’ By bringing information out into the open you’ll be able to hold government and public services to account.”
Getting a little closer to the subject matter, last September, whilst on a three day visit to Bangladesh, the International Development Minister of the UK Desmond Swayne quite rightly said “Extrajudicial killings cannot be tolerated in a democratic country like Bangladesh”, stressing that all incidents regarding recent extrajudicial killings “should be investigated and the perpetrators should be brought to justice”. It should be noted his speech was made at the British High Commission in the capital.
David Cameron, his officials and senior military officers seem to be suffering from selective amnesia of such preachings both at home and aboard, particularly in the light of this latest revelation.
Reprieve’s report makes a stunning link though. It confirms that a British kill list does exist but is now not just afforded to terrorists overseas but combines them as targets with drug traffickers and others. The kill list is officially known as the Joint Prioritized Effects List or JPEL.
The report asserts that the British security services, including UK police have worked alongside the US military to determine who gets named for the state sponsored, tax-payer funded assassination programme.
Reprieve highlights the fact that Britain conspired in a US-inspired Kill List soon after 9/11. It says quite categorically that “Starting in 2002, working closely with the Americans, Britain had played a leading role in the euphemistic Joint Prioritized Effective List. As with Yemen, the JPEL Kill List was not even limited to a war zone – it spanned over into Pakistan, which was an ally, not an enemy at war.”
What this effectively means is that not only has Britain brought back the death penalty it has done so without public or parliamentary consultation, and carried out these deadly deeds regularly without even a basic trial.
You may think that killing terrorists and drug traffickers is fair game but Britain legislated against the death penalty in 1965 and even prior to that, a full judge and jury determined the outcome, not politicians. But it goes further than terrorists and drug traffickers.
The reports alleges that around 50 Afghan drug traffickers have been on this list since 2009 and that UK police officers working for the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) have been working alongside the intelligence agency GCHQ and widened its approach by including Britain’s Joint Narcotics Analysis Centre to pick out targets.