Drone Survivors Speak at Congressional Briefing Called by Rep. Grayson
Starting at 10:00 AM EST, Rafiq ur Rahman- a teacher at a primary school in North Waziristan, Pakistan- will appear at a briefing called by Representative Alan Grayson (D-FL), along with his children Nabila and Zubair, who were both injured in a drone attack in October 2012, Robert Greenwald, president of Brave New Foundation, and Jennifer Gibson, staff attorney with Reprieve. This event marks the first opportunity for Congress to hear from drone victim survivors.
The Rehmans' story, documented extensively in a report released last week by Amnesty International and in a new documentary from filmmaker Robert Greenwald, serves as a wrenching, first-hand rebuke to the Obama administration's frequent claims that drone strikes have caused few if any civilian casualties. Bibi was the only person killed in the strike. Nine people, including the two children, were hurt.
From 2004 to 2013, the non-profit Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimated drone strikes killed 2,525 to 3,613 people, with 407 to 926 of those being civilians. Although the Obama administration disputes those numbers, and the number of drone attacks have dropped this year, Pakistani officials and America's allies are increasingly calling for more transparency around civilian drone deaths.
Rafiq ur-Rehman said he is determined to add his voice to that call, no matter how far he must travel.