12:57 GMT04 March 2021
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    Earlier in the day, British media reported that a FOI request made by the Press Association to the UK Attorney General’s Office and Cabinet Office concerning the drone strike had been rejected. The authorities cited security concerns, protection of personal data and legal professional privilege as reasons for the rejection.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Anastasia Levchenko — More transparency is needed in relation to the UK drone strike on Islamic State targets in Raqqa in August that had led to the deaths of two Britons, Matt Burgess, who runs the project FOI (Freedom of Information) Directory, told Sputnik on Friday.

    "The drone strike the FOI request was made about was unprecedented and more transparency around the decision which led to it is needed. More information, which doesn't endanger national security or military operations, should be published about the decision to launch the drone strike as open and transparent governance can lead to greater levels of public trust, as well as scrutiny of officials," the head of FOI Directory, which aims to facilitate the processing of FOI requests, said.

    The killing of two British nationals by unmanned UK drones in a foreign country drew criticism and raised concerns over such actions violating international law.

    Prime Minister David Cameron said the operation was entirely lawful and claimed the government had received appropriate professional legal advice prior to taking the action.

    At the same time, the Attorney General’s Office and Cabinet Office were within their rights to reject the request on such a sensitive issue for security reasons, according to Burgess.

    "The UK government has answered the FOI request in a fully and appropriate way that complies with transparency laws. The law [the Freedom of Information Act 2000] provides adequate protection for legal advice and information that is given in confidence. The public authority has used the provisions available to it to refuse the request," Burgess explained.

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    Tags:
    Daesh, drone strike, Syria, Britain, Raqqa
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