New Campaign Asks: Could You be the Target of Assassination?
September 9, 2017
From Friday 8th until Monday 18th September, members of the public will be able to find out how close they’ve come to being put on a ‘Kill List’ of people targeted for assassination by the US and UK governments.
Human rights organisation Reprieve is launching a ‘Death by Data’ campaign to highlight how the US and its allies use so-called ‘metadata’ to identify targets to kill in drone strikes. Cosmetics company Lush is joining them in the first week of the campaign by featuring it in their shop windows and on their website.
Members of the public will be able to take a quiz – either online or in Lush shops – to find out whether data on who they’ve called, what they’ve posted on social media, or where they’ve been, could potentially lead to their inclusion on a list of targets.
The UK cooperates in the drone programme with the intelligence agencies providing data and working directly with their US counterparts to select targets. In 2014 under cross-party pressure from MPs – including from the now Brexit Secretary David Davis – and the former head of GCHQ, David Cameron refused to publish the guidance on when and how data is shared. Reprieve has launched a public petition asking the UK Government to come clean about its role and publish the Drone Guidance.
Alongside the drones campaign Reprieve is also launching a report which reveals for the first time the extent of President Trump’s drone war in Yemen with new evidence of five-fold increase in the rate of strikes since he took office and multiple civilian deaths. The report also exposes the level of involvement of UK agencies in the US drone programme for the first time.
Commenting, Director of Reprieve, Maya Foa said:
“It is shocking that people can end up on kill lists based on unreliable, circumstantial and often inaccurate data. As President Trump ramps up the rate of drone strikes in Yemen and elsewhere, close allies like Theresa May should be refusing to play any part in this illegal assassination campaign. We need full transparency and proper oversight of how intelligence is used to ensure the UK government end its complicity in this programme of Death by Data.”
Hilary Jones, Lush’s Ethics Director adds:
”Lush will never be a fan of summary executions, but when they appear to be based on such unreliable criteria we should all be concerned about what is being done here in our names”
Notes to Editors:
1. Please include a link to the campaign on the reprieve website in any coverage: http://act.reprieve.org.uk/deathbydata
2. The full Reprieve report into the drone programme in Yemen can be read here.
3. Reprieve is an international human rights organisation. Reprieve’s London office can be contacted on: firstname.lastname@example.org, or +44 (0)20 7553 8140.
4. Lush is a manufacturer and retailer of fresh handmade cosmetics with over 930 shops in 49 countries. Lush campaigns for many issues across the spectrums of human rights, animal protection and environmental preservation. A long time collaborator with Reprieve on issues such as fair trials for Guantánamo Bay detainees, held without charge; covert drone programmes in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen; and raising awareness of the plight of Andy Tsege, a British father being held on death row in Ethiopia.