Skip to main content

Secret government ‘kill list’ uncovered

PM in the frame again for appearing to mislead Parliament

A SECRET assassination list has been held by the government for at least 14 years, targeting people in countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen, a human rights organisation revealed yesterday.

Reprieve’s research also suggests that Tory PM David Cameron could be guilty of misleading Parliament last September, a serious offence, after claiming that the drone killing of two British nationals in Syria had been “a new departure.”

In October 2001, the government drew up a list of individuals who were then targeted by British and US forces, according to Reprieve, which published the Britain’s Kill List report.

The list includes people suspected of being militants, drug traffickers and paedophiles who are marked for attack without them being put on trial for the allegations against them.

However, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) told the Morning Star that it “does not comment on intelligence matters.”

The Star was not able to get contact with 10 Downing Street despite repeated attempts to obtain a comment about Mr Cameron’s claims in the Commons.

Reprieve says that it found the names of 41 men who had “died” repeatedly — after reportedly being killed in “successful” drone strikes, their names subsequently reappeared in reports of the casualties caused by other air attacks.

The charity’s report reads: “Reports indicate that each assassination target ‘died’ on average more than three times before their actual death.

“This raises a stark question. With each failed attempt to assassinate a man on the Kill List, who filled the body bag in his place?

“In one case, it took seven drone strikes before the US killed its target. In those strikes, as many as 164 people died, including 11 children.”

The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) is scheduled to issue its own report on Britain’s use of drones for targeted killing, but Reprieve is calling for a separate, urgent review of the policy, which dates back to at least 2002.

Reprieve director Clive Stafford Smith said: “For a country that loudly proclaims its opposition to the death penalty even after a fair trial, the hypocrisy is stunning.

“Now we know that British authorities are deeply involved in executing all kinds of people, including alleged drug dealers, without a trial at all.

“If democracy means anything at all, the Prime Minister must order a full and transparent inquiry into the Kill List, starting immediately.”

Further info can be found here:


We're a reader-owned co-operative, which means you can become part of the paper too by buying shares in the People’s Press Printing Society.

Become a supporter

Fighting fund

You've Raised:£ 3,685
We need:£ 14,315
25 Days remaining
Donate today