Yorkshire: famous for the Yorkshire Terrier and the Yorkshire Pudding; known for its beautiful countryside, idyllic villages and top-notch tea.
But there is something else you should know about Yorkshire: it also plays a central role in America’s illegal lethal drones strikes.
At the heart of the US targeted killing is Menwith Hill airbase in Yorkshire, where over 600 British personnel work alongside their American counterparts, helping identify targets and hoover up the intelligence used to carry out illegal lethal drone strikes in Yemen. That means the UK is at the centre of one of the biggest threats to global human rights: America’s illegal lethal drone programme.
At Menwith Hill, UK and US personnel use surveillance tools such as GHOSTHUNTER to pinpoint the locations of targeted people or groups so they can be captured or killed. Documents show another programme, called GHOSTWOLF, was used to identify targets at more than 40 internet cafes in Yemen.
These US drone strikes are unlawful – they allow President Trump to kill so-called targets without due process or accountability. The strikes also kill countless innocents – including children.
The UK should not be complicit in this illegal, unethical and barbaric activity.
Faisal bin Ali Jaber recently won his appeal in German courts. The court ruled that the German government must do more to ensure its territory is not used by the US to carry out unlawful drone strikes in Yemen.
Not enough people know that the UK is directly aiding these human rights abuses so close to home. We need to elevate the issue into the public consciousness, get as many petition signatures as possible, and start to put more pressure on the UK to end their involvement.