Monday, 17 February 2014, at 19h,
Noor Khan, FATA, Pakistan
Noor Behram, journalist, Pakistan
Shahzad Akbar, Foundation for Fundamental Rights, Pakistan
Jennifer Gibson, Reprieve
Andreas Schüller, ECCHR
Drone strikes in Pakistan have killed countless civilians. The discussions about the use of drones and their political, ethical, moral and legal dimensions have reached the American and European public, parliaments, media, science and judiciaries. However, little is known about the situation of the local population in the affected area of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on the Pakistani-Afghani border. Three speakers from Pakistan, Noor Khan, Noor Behram and their lawyer Shahzad Akbar, will talk about their personal experiences with drone strikes. They will share their views about the local circumstances and daily life in which drone strikes interfere. They will explain how to document individual strikes and how they have attempted to enforce their rights before the courts. Jennifer Gibson will then put the Pakistani perspective into the broader international advocacy and litigation framework. She will present developments within the US, Europe and on the international level as to the legality and perspectives of the use of drones for targeted killings. Andreas Schüller will lead through the event and comment on the German Federal Prosecutor’s ceased investigation of one specific drone strike in Pakistan.
The event will take place in English.
More information on Reprieve’s and ECCHR’s work on drones:
Background of the speakers:
Noor Khan is a post-graduate student in political science whose father was killed by a drone strike on 17 March 2011. The strike targeted a meeting of the local Jirga, a council of tribal elders, which Noor’s father headed, and which was attempting to resolve a local dispute over a chromite mine. More than 40 local leaders were killed. Noor Khan is the plaintiff in a case that Reprieve brought to the UK High Court challenging potential UK intelligence sharing in the US drone programme. In May 2013, Noor won a case before the Peshawar High Court in Pakistan. The first ruling of its kind, the Peshawar High Court ordered the Pakistani government to take a series of steps to stop the drone strikes, and ordered the United States provide compensation.
Noor Behram is a journalist who has been documenting drone strikes in Pakistan for the past six years. His work has brought to light the toll strikes have taken on the civilian population, and his efforts to expose the conflict have often put him at great personal risk. Unlike many reporters who rely on information from the Pakistani intelligence, Noor Behram goes directly to the area where the drone strikes occur. He has taken photographs of drone strikes scene as well as interviewed victims and their families. Behram’s photographs have uncovered a side of the drone campaign that would otherwise remain hidden from the public.
Jennifer, a US lawyer, leads Reprieve’s drones work in Pakistan. Jennifer has testified about her work on drones before both the US Congress and British Parliamentarians. Prior to joining Reprieve, Jennifer was at Stanford University, where she co-authored, Living Under Drones – one of the most comprehensive accounts of the impact of drones in Pakistan to date. Jennifer holds a Juris Doctor from Stanford Law School and an MPhil in International Relations from the University of Cambridge.
Shahzad Akbar is a Reprieve Legal Fellow and founder of the Foundation for Fundamental Rights, a Pakistan-based human rights organization that represents civilian victims of drone strikes. Shahzad was the first lawyer to challenge the US-led drone attacks in Pakistan and has investigated and identified many civilian victims. He currently represents more than 100 families who have lost relatives in US drone strikes. Shahzad is a qualified barrister and holds an LLM from the University of Newcastle.
Andreas Schüller manages the International Crimes and Accountability Program of ECCHR. Working with ECCHR since 2009, Andreas has acted in international crimes cases concerning the NATO, USA, UK, Germany, Syria, Bahrain, Sri Lanka, Chechnya and other countries. Andreas studied law in Trier (Germany), Orléans (France) and holds an LLM from Leiden University (The Netherlands). He published a series of law journal articles and opinion pieces on ECCHR’s approaches to law and politics as well as on relevant cases, such as the German drone case.