For Immediate Release
CODEPINK Delegation in Pakistan Condemns Attack on 14-year-old Pakistani Girl; Offers Grant to her School
WASHINGTON - The struggle of 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai to ensure access to education for girls is important not just for Pakistan, but for women around the world, says the U.S.-based peace group CODEPINK and its delegation that is in Pakistan to condemn the US use of drones. A faction of the Taliban claimed credit for attacking the girl from the Swat region on October 9 in retaliation for her outspoken opposition to its attempts to keep girls home from school. The attack left the young girl in critical condition.
"We came to Pakistan to protest American drone attacks that have killed hundreds of innocent people," said Medea Benjamin, a founder of Codepink and leader of the 31-member delegation that participated in a historic convoy to Waziristan Oct. 6 to visit with the people most affected by the drone strikes. "But we stand in solidarity with Pakistanis, especially the women, as they fight all of the forces that are working against human rights in their country. We are praying for Malala's quick recovery and return to school."
To show their support for Malala's plight, Codepink is offering US$1,000 to her school. In addition, the delegation is joining other women and human rights groups in a solidarity demonstration at 5 p.m. today in front of the Islamabad Press Club.
The delegates see a connection between drone attacks and growing extremism in Pakistan. A recent report from Stanford University called drone attacks an effective "recruiting tool" for extremists. " We oppose all forms of terrorism," said delegate leader Tighe Barry, "and we stand with the people of Pakistan who are fighting for both national sovereignty and individual freedoms."
Delegates are available for interviews, and updates from the trip along with multimedia content are regularly posted on http://www.droneswatch.org.
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CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities. CODEPINK rejects foreign policies based on domination and aggression, and instead calls for policies based on diplomacy, compassion and a commitment to international law. With an emphasis on joy and humor, CODEPINK women and men seek to activate, amplify and inspire a community of peacemakers through creative campaigns and a commitment to non-violence.