Category: Pakistan


Armed Predator drone firing Hellfire missile

 

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS – The advocacy groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are accusing the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama of possible war crimes for drone strike campaigns in Pakistan and Yemen. These charges won’t have much weight within the United States — after all, even Hollywood now portrays the way we tortured detainees, and no one has been held to account.

But the reports presage what will probably become history’s verdict on drone strikes taking place off the battlefield in weak states: bad for human rights, bad for the rule of law — and bad for U.S. interests in the fight against terrorism. [Read the full article]

 

Drawing on a pad of paper in a Washington DC hotel, Nabeela ur Rehman recalled the day her grandmother was killed. “I was running away,” the nine-year told the Guardian. “I was trying to wipe away the blood.”

“It was as if it was night all of the sudden.”

The date was 24 October 2012, the eve of Eid al-Adha, the Muslim holy day. Nabeela’s father, Rafiq ur Rehman, a school teacher living in the remote Pakistani tribal region of North Waziristan, was dropping off sweets at his sister’s home when it happened. [Read the full article]

English: Sarband water body as seen from Harwa...

Decked by thick deodar forests, terraced corn fields, apple orchards and jagged mountains, the hamlet of Dardpora tucked in the northern rim of Indian-administered Kashmir looks idyllic.

But scratch a little deeper and the wounds of decades of conflict sweeping across the region open up when its 300-odd widows and ‘half widows’ (women whose husbands have disappeared but not yet been declared deceased) describe the pain of losing their husbands in course of the ongoing rebellion.

“His disappearance is still a mystery,” says Begum Jaan, 52, whose husband Shamsuddin Pasal left home for evening prayers in 1998 to never return again. [Read the full article]

Flag of Pakistan Esperanto: Flago de Pakistano...

 

A young mother of two has been put to death in Pakistan for possessing a cell phone.

Arifa Bibi was sentenced to death by stoning by a Pakistani tribal court, and was executed on July 11 at the hands of her family. Her uncle, cousins and other family members threw stones at the woman until she died, all because she had a mobile phone. She was buried in the desert far away from her home village, and according to reports, her family was not permitted to be involved in her funeral. [Read the full article]

 

English: Flag of the Balochistan province, Pak...

 

AWARAN, Pakistan (AP) — Two rockets fired by militants in Pakistan’s quake-struck region narrowly missed a government helicopter on Thursday as survivors complained that aid was not reaching far-flung areas and the harrowing death toll climbed to 355.

 

The attack underscored the dangers authorities and aid workers face in helping victims in southwestern Baluchistan province where a massive, magnitude 7.7 earthquake hit earlier this week. [Read the full article]

 

Drone

This report is the result of nine months of research by the International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic of Stanford Law School (Stanford Clinic) and the Global Justice Clinic at New York University School of Law (NYU Clinic). Professor James Cavallaro and Clinical Lecturer Stephan Sonnenberg led the Stanford Clinic team; Professor Sarah Knuckey led the NYU Clinic team. Adelina Acuña, Mohammad M. Ali, Anjali Deshmukh, Jennifer Gibson, Jennifer Ingram, Dimitri Phillips, Wendy Salkin, and Omar Shakir were the student research team at Stanford; Christopher Holland was the student researcher from NYU. Supervisors Cavallaro, Sonnenberg, and Knuckey, as well as student researchers Acuña, Ali, Deshmukh, Gibson, Salkin, and Shakir participated in the fact-finding investigations to Pakistan.

In December 2011, Reprieve, a charity based in the United Kingdom, contacted the Stanford Clinic to ask whether it would be interested in conducting independent investigations into whether, and to what extent, drone strikes in Pakistan conformed to international law and caused harm and/or injury to civilians. The Stanford Clinic agreed to undertake independent fact-finding and analysis on these questions, as well as others related to drone strikes and targeted killings in Pakistan, beginning in December 2011. Later, the NYU Clinic agreed to join the research project and participated in the second research trip to Pakistan, as well as in additional research, writing, and editing of this report. [Read the full report]

Taken from the foot-notes:

[164] US officials told the New York Times that the CIA and NSA investigate drone casualties by watching the aftermath of strikes by video, and “track[ing] the funerals that follow.” Shane, C.I.A. is Disputed on Civilian Death Toll in Drone Strikes, supra note 157. They further “intercept cell phone calls and emails discussing who was killed.” Id. The sufficiency of this method of post-strike investigation is questionable, given frequently poor cell signals in the area, and given that most households do not have the electricity or infrastructure to support an internet connection. See Tayyeb Afridi, Would Social Media Bring Change to Pakistan’s Tribal Area?, KUTNews Austin (May 25, 2011), http://kutnews.org/post/would-social-media-bring-change-pakistan%E2%80%99s-tribal-area (noting that social media and internet service are generally unavailable in FATA due to lack of electricity, and high cost); Interview with Noor Behram, in Islamabad, Pakistan (Mar. 9, 2012).

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