Yemeni in US Seeking Answers to Drone Strike Gets Silence
November 23rd, 2013
Pakistanis Protest US Drones, While US Anti-Drone Movement Grows
Faisal bin Ali Jaber, who traveled from Yemen to the US this week to get answers about the drone strike that killed his relatives and is featured on the front page of the New York Times today, November 23, returns home without answers. Despite meetings with members of the National Security Council, US Congress and the State Department, Jaber was offered no apology for death of his relatives (one was an anti-Al Qaeda cleric and the other a policeman), no compensation and no explanation. He did, however, join 400 activists and human rights advocates at a Drone Summit at Georgetown Law School organized by CODEPINK, and got a chance to witness the growing anti-drone movement in the United States that has been protesting at US drone bases, drone manufacturers and US government offices. “I leave impressed with the American people who are joining with us, in Yemen, to demand an end to the drone strikes,” said Jaber.
Just hours before Jaber testified at a Congressional briefing attended by 5 Representatives and dozens of staffers, a drone strike hit the province in Yemen where he is from. Two days later, a US drone strike hit Pakistan, shattering the prospect of peace talks between the Pakistani government and the Taliban. In response, today in Pakistan 10,000-15,000 people gathered in Peshawar to denounce US drone strikes. Led by Imran Khan, head of the party PTI (Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf), the group blocked the highway used by NATO supply trucks taking goods in and out of Afghanistan. The protest is in response to two drones strikes in Pakistan this month—one on November 1 that killed a Taliban leader just one day before peace talks were scheduled to begin, and another on November 21 that struck a religious seminary in the province controlled by the staunchly anti-drone PTI.