Will I Be Next? Amnesty International Investigates Pakistan Drone Strikes

Will I Be Next?

I wasn’t scared of drones before, but now when they fly overhead I wonder, will I be next?
–Nabeela, eight-year-old granddaughter of US drone strike victim Mamana Bibi


On a sunny afternoon in October 2012, 68-year-old Mamana Bibi was killed in a drone strike that appears to have been aimed directly at her. Her grandchildren recounted in painful detail to Amnesty International the moment when Mamana Bibi, who was gathering vegetables in the family fields in Ghundi Kala village, northwest Pakistan, was blasted into pieces before their eyes. Nearly a year later, Mamana Bibi’s family has yet to receive any acknowledgment that it was the US that killed her, let alone justice or compensation for her death.

Earlier, on 6 July 2012, 18 male laborers, including at least one boy, were killed in a series of US drone strikes in the remote village of Zowi Sidgi. Missiles first struck a tent in which some men had gathered for an evening meal after a hard day’s work, and then struck those who came to help the injured from the first strike. Witnesses described a macabre scene of body parts and blood, panic and terror, as US drones continued to hover overhead. The use of pilotless aircraft, commonly referred to as drones, for surveillance and so-called targeted killings by the USA has fast become one of the most controversial human rights issues in the world. In no place is this more apparent than in Pakistan.

Amnesty International has documented nine U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan from last year and this year. Their report, available online in PDF format, includes a discussion of so-called “signature strikes,” follow-up missile attacks launched against people rescuing the wounded from a drone strike, and other tactics. Must-read.

According to U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions Christof Heyns, “When one drone attack is followed up by another in order to target those who are wounded and hors de combat or medical personnel, it constitutes a war crime in armed conflict and a violation of the right to life, whether or not in armed conflict.”

h/t Kevin Gosztola on FDL

UPDATE: Obama Administration Has Launched Drone Strikes Against AQAP Suspects Who Could’ve Been Captured

UPDATE: Translator at drone strike hearing moved nearly to tears by survivor testimony

  1. #1 by Larry Bergan on October 22, 2013 - 9:37 pm

    That’s not the only thing the children in Pakistan have to worry about. Nestle is stealing their water, but it’s not all bad. If they have enough money, they can buy it back after it’s bottled.

  2. #3 by Richard Warnick on November 6, 2013 - 1:45 pm

    Drone Strike Victims Are Coming Out of the Shadows

    The US government is feeling the pressure. It has taken steps to reduce civilian casualties and has reduced the actual number of strikes, but certainly not eliminated them. In fact, there was a drone strike in Somalia on October 28 and another one in Pakistan on October 31 that killed Taliban leader Hakimullah Mahsoud, who was about to engage in peace talks with the Pakistan government.

    • #5 by cav on November 7, 2013 - 8:18 am

      When an algorithm kill, can an individual really be hel responsible?

      Corporations are people in other words.

  3. #6 by brewski on November 6, 2013 - 4:54 pm

    Glenden thinks you are a racist.

  4. #7 by Frank Kafka on November 7, 2013 - 1:27 pm

    Drone murder terrorism as a willful, personally identifiable, policy.

    It’s plain treason, obama should hang.

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