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Somali drone victims vs. the Dutch State

Somali drones victims pursue their lawsuit against the Dutch State

In January 2014 the U.S. carried out drone strikes in Somalia, inflicting harm on two Somali nomads. One of them lost his two daughters, suffered permanent physical injury and their livestock was destroyed. In carrying out the attack, the US used information gathered by the Dutch Defence Intelligence and Security Service. The victims purport that the Netherlands share responsibility for the attack which was unlawful under international law in particular human rights and international humanitarian law and are preparing a lawsuit against the Dutch state. They claim that under Dutch civil law, the Dutch State committed a wrongful act.

With limited financial resources to pay for the costs attached to the lawsuit, the victims filed a request for government-financed legal aid which was rejected in first instance and was only granted in second instance. Since this decision has not been appealed by the defendant, the dispute is now ready to be taken to the Dutch Court of first instance by a writ of summons where plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment concerning the liability of the Dutch State. Although not expected, the lawsuit might still be settled amicably.

The Nuhanovic Foundation sponsors and monitors this case in order to increase its impact.