Child victims of CIA drone strike to appear before US Congress tomorrow
October 28, 2013
Tomorrow (Tuesday October 29) two children who were injured in a drone attack in North West Pakistan which killed their grandmother will appear, along with their father, at a briefing in the US Congress.
Rafiq ur Rehman – a teacher in a primary school in North Waziristan – and his children Nabila (9) and Zubair (13) will attend the briefing on drones called by Congressman Alan Grayson (FL-09). Mr Rehman’s 67-year-old mother was killed in the same October 2012 strike which injured his children. This will be the first time that members of Congress have heard testimony direct from civilian victims of the CIA’s covert drone campaign.
The family will be accompanied by Jennifer Gibson, attorney at human rights charity Reprieve. The family’s lawyer, Reprieve Fellow Shahzad Akbar, was not granted a visa to the US in order to travel with them – a problem he has faced since 2011, when he began representing Pakistani victims of CIA drone strikes.
Congressman Grayson said: “When it comes to national security matters like drone strikes, it’s important that we hear not only from the proponents of these attacks, but also from the victims. They have a unique perspective to share with Congress, and I hope that my colleagues will attend this important event on October 29th.”
The briefing will take place on Tuesday, October 29, at 10 AM, Eastern Standard Time; it will be held at 2237 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.
Notes to editors
1. The Rehman family are represented by Shahzad Akbar, an Islamabad-based lawyer and fellow of human rights charity Reprieve. For further information, or requests to interview Mr Akbar or members of the family, please contact Donald Campbell or Clemency Wells in Reprieve’s press office: +44 (0) 207 553 8161 / +44 (0) 7791 755 415 / firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com