WASHINGTON: Amnesty International criticized the United States on Wednesday for its use of lethal force, particularly for the ‘unlawful’ killing of Osama bin Laden in a clandestine US commando raid in Pakistan last May.
"The US administration made clear that the operation had been conducted under the USA's theory of a global armed conflict between the USA and Al-Qaeda in which the USA does not recognize the applicability of international human rights law," it said in its annual report.
"In the absence of further clarification from the US authorities, the killing of Osama bin Laden would appear to have been unlawful," it said.
Amnesty said a request for clarification over an apparent US drone strike in Yemen last September that killed US-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaqi, his Al-Qaeda co-conspirator Samir Khan and at least two others had also gone unanswered.
"These killings appeared to have amounted to extrajudicial executions," the rights watchdog said.
Amnesty regretted President Barack Obama's failure to shut down Guantanamo, noting that at the end of 2011, nearly two years after his self-imposed closure deadline, "171 men were still held at the base, including four who had been convicted by military commission."
The number of detainees at the US detention center in Cuba currently stands at 169.
The report lamented that five suspects accused of planning the September 11, 2001 attacks "had been held incommunicado for up to four years in secret US custody before being transferred to Guantanamo." (AFP)