Drone Victim Families in Pakistan File Petitions against CIA Killing of Civilians

Saturday, May 12, 2012
Drone Protest in Pakistan
Victims of a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) drone attack in Pakistan have filed two lawsuits in a Pakistani court demanding that their government seek criminal prosecution for those responsible for killing 50 civilians.
 
The lawsuits (known as constitutional petitions) were submitted on behalf of nine individuals who either were wounded survivors or family members of those who died in the drone strike that occurred on March 17, 2011, in Datta Khel, in Northern Waziristan near the border with Afghanistan. A few days after the strike, the Pakistani government offered compensation to the victims: 300,000 Rupees ($3,300) for the families of each person killed and 100,000 rupees for ($1,100) for those who were wounded.
 
However, the victims want the Peshawar High Court to initiate criminal proceedings against Pakistanis or CIA officials involved in the drone attacks.
 
They also demand the Pakistani government raise the drones issue before the United Nations Security Council, the International Court of Justice, and the U.N. Human Rights Council.
 
Finally, the plaintiffs want an independent commission established “to investigate the true extent of Pakistani civilian deaths in U.S. drone attacks.”
 
According to the U.K.-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, between 480 and 820 Pakistani civilians, including 174 children, have died in CIA drone strikes since 2004.
 
Drone strikes have increased significantly under President Barack Obama, whose administration has ordered at least 270. President George W. Bush was responsible for 52.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
 
To Learn More:
Petition 1 (The Honourable Peshawar High Court, Peshawar) (pdf)
Petition 2 (The Honourable Peshawar High Court, Peshawar) (pdf)

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