For Immediate Release
Blair FitzGibbon, 202-503-6141
Civilian Drone Strike Victims to Appear Before Congress for First Time
New Clip to be Shown from Robert Greenwald’s Forthcoming Documentary “Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars”
WASHINGTON - Rafiq ur Rehman – the primary school teacher highlighted in the Amnesty International drone report – will appear at a briefing called by Representative Alan Grayson (FL–09), along with his children Nabila and Zubair who were both injured in a drone attack in October 2012. The event marks the first opportunity for Congress to hear from drone strike survivors.
A new clip from the Brave New Films documentary Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars will also be shown at the briefing. The clip features Mr. Rehman detailing the drone attack that killed his mother and hospitalized his two children. Robert Greenwald, the documentary’s director, will introduce the clip. Watch a one-minute clip of Rafiq ur Rehman interviewed in the forthcoming documentary Unmanned.
“I’m looking forward to hearing from the drone strike victims,” said Congressman Grayson. “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.”
Rafiq ur Rehman’s lawyer, Shahzad Akbar, is the first lawyer to represent drone strike victims in the Pakistani Courts. Mr. Akbar heads the Foundation for Fundamental Rights and is a legal fellow at Reprieve, an international organization seeking justice around the globe. The U.S. State Department has not approved Mr. Akbar’s visa to travel with Mr. Rehman and his children to the U.S. Undeterred, Mr. Akbar arranged for his clients to travel to the U.S. without him to share their story with Congress and the American public.
“Rafiq ur Rehman has traveled from North Waziristan to tell his story before Congress because he believes that more people should know that these strikes are killing and terrorizing innocent families,” said Robert Greenwald, producer and director of Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars, which features Mr. Rehman’s story. “It is imperative that Congress and the White House know that the implementation of U.S. drone strikes abroad are fueling anti-American sentiment and serving as a tool for terrorist recruitment.”
WHAT: congressional briefing on drone strikes, with perspectives from drone victims and Robert Greenwald, director of upcoming drone strike documentary, Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars
Rafiq ur Rehman, whose 63-year old mother was killed by a drone strike
Rafiq’s children, Nabila Rehman, and Zubair Rehman, who were injured by a drone strike
Robert Greenwald, producer and director of Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars
WHEN: Tuesday, October 29, 10:00 a.m.
WHERE: 2237 Rayburn House Office Building
In Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars, the eighth full-length feature documentary from Brave New Foundation, Greenwald investigates the impact of U.S. drone strikes through more than 70 separate interviews. The documentary includes interviews with a former American drone operator, Pakistani families mourning loved ones and seeking legal redress, investigative journalists pursuing the truth, and military officials warning against blowback from the loss of innocent life.
In candid conversations with experts like Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of State to Secretary of State Colin Powell; David Kilcullen former advisor to NATO and General Petraeus, and Andrew Bacevich, Professor of International Relations and History at Boston University, Unmanned exposes the imperfection of these covert military actions, and how they can lead to greater animosity against America. Greenwald’s documentary also reveals the methods behind drone targeting in an effort to inform the American public.