Alex Constantine - November 22, 2012
Family that lost father in Waziristan missile strike launches claim in the High Court
By Terri Judd
The Independent, October 24, 2012
British intelligence officers could be guilty of encouraging murder, or even war crimes, by supplying information to the CIA for drone attacks, it was claimed today.
The assertion that GCHQ officers could be complicit in the killing of civilians in Pakistan was made at the beginning of a two day hearing brought by lawyers for Noor Khan, whose father was killed in an attack by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in March 2011.
Malik Daud Khan, the High Court was told, had been attending a peaceful commercial jirga to discuss chromite mining rights in North Waziristan when he was among up to 50 people killed by a missile strike. The poverty stricken community now lived in terror of the drones that “hover” over their skies day and night, Mr Khan, 27, said in a statement to the court, with tribal elders fearful of gathering together lest they become a target.
“The mothers and wives plead with the men to not congregate together for fear that they will be targeted. They do not want to lose any more of their husbands, sons, brothers, and nephews,” he wrote, adding: “The younger generation has been especially affected. The children almost all suffer from mental illness and live in constant fear of the drone. The children no longer attend school and because of the constant humming of the drones they’ve become mental patients.”
Lawyers for Mr Khan are challenging Foreign Secretary William Hague to clarify the British Government's position on sharing intelligence with the CIA – a matter it says it will neither confirm nor deny – and challenge the lawfulness of such cooperation. ...