An extrajudicial killing is the killing of a person by governmental authorities without the sanction of any judicial proceeding or legal process. Extrajudicial punishments are by their nature unlawful, since they bypass the due process of the legal jurisdiction in which they occur. Extrajudicial killings often target leading political, trade union, dissident, religious, and social figures and may be carried out by the state government or other state authorities like the armed forces and police.
Extrajudicial killings and death squads are common in the Middle East (mostly in Palestinian territories and Iraq), Central America, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, several nations or regions in Africa, Jamaica, Kosovo, parts of South America, allegedly Russia, Uzbekistan, parts of Thailand, and in the Philippines. One early case of extrajudicial killings was in the Weimar Republic of Germany. The most recent issue regarding extrajudicial killing has been the debate about the legal, moral, and ethical status of targeted killing by unmanned aerial vehicles by the United States.
Famous quotes containing the word killings:
“not that horror was not, not that the killings did not continue,
not that I thought there was to be no more despair,
but that as if transparent all disclosed
an otherness that was blessèd, that was bliss.
I saw Paradise in the dust of the street.”
—Denise Levertov (b. 1923)