Leading Human Rights Groups Question Legality of Targeted Killing Program

April 12, 2013 - CCR was among ten prominent human rights and civil liberties organizations that sent a letter to the president yesterday detailing their concerns with the legality of his rapidly expanding targeted killing program. It marks the first time the groups have come together and put forth a shared position on the issue. Read the letter below. Also see the New York Times article by Scott Shane here.

The letter calls on President Obama to “publicly disclose key targeted killing standards and criteria; ensure that U.S. lethal force operations abroad comply with international law; enable meaningful Congressional oversight and judicial review; and ensure effective investigations, tracking and response to civilian harm.”

The groups are:

American Civil Liberties Union
Amnesty International
Center for Human Rights & Global Justice, NYU School of Law
Center for Civilians in Conflict
Center for Constitutional Rights
Global Justice Clinic, NYU School of Law
Human Rights First
Human Rights Institute, Columbia Law School
Human Rights Watch
Open Society Foundations


The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.


Last modified 

April 12, 2013