Drone Victims Testify Before Congress

Rafique ur Rehman and his family testify in a congressional briefing, October 30, 2013.

Zubair ur Rehman is afraid of blue skies. After all, it was a bright, clear day when his grandmother, Mamana Bibi was killed by a drone strike in a field outside of his home in Pakistan’s Waziristan region.

“When the sky brightens and becomes blue, the drones return and so does the fear,” the thirteen-year-old told members of Congress at a briefing organized by Representative Alan Grayson, a Florida Democrat, yesterday.

Zubair wasn’t always so anxious. Not even on that day when he was out collecting okra with his grandmother, siblings, and cousins in preparation for the Eid holiday.

“As I helped my grandmother work in the fields,” he said through a translator, “I could hear the drone hover overhead, but I didn’t worry. Why would I worry? Neither I nor my grandmother were militants.”

That is why it was so surprising when a hellfire missile fell from the sky and shattered his family’s life. Zubair’s sister, Nabila, nine years old, recalled what happened next. “I was very scared and all I could think of doing was just run. I kept running but I felt something in my hand. I looked at my hand and I saw that there was blood. I tried to bandage my hand but the blood kept coming. The blood wouldn’t stop.”

The two were badly injured along with four of their cousins. Their grandmother did not survive the attack.

Read more at the Boston Review

Author: konigludwig

progressive social democrat, internationalist, conservationist

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