It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Prof. Christof Heyns last week. Many of our EFAD members have worked with him and known him in his role as UN Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

His thorough analysis and sharp criticism of US policy of targeted killings were instrumental in pushing forward the international debate on transparency and accountability. His findings and presentations for States raised alarm about the use of lethal force with drones that risked undermining legal frameworks and killed innocent civilians.

Afterwards, he continued to publish on the issue of drones, either with respect to their use in law enforcement or in relation to the increasing levels of autonomy in military robotics.

He will be remembered by his openness to engage with anyone interested in the issues he worked on, his passion for justice and his warm character.

We wish his family, friends and colleagues strength to get through these difficult times.


Image: “Press conference at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on March 11 (Special Rapporteur Christof Heyns pictured)” by Maina Kiai, licensed under CC BY 2.0

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