New project names those killed by US drone strikes

Naming the Dead is a project run by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a not-for-profit research organisation based in London. The project aims to identify those killed in CIA drone strikes on Pakistan on its website.

The site said: “Over the past nine years, the tribal region of Pakistan’s north west has been hit by hundreds of drone attacks ... Missiles launched from these high-tech, unmanned aircraft have hit homes, cars, schools, shops and gatherings.

“At least 2,500 people have been killed, according to data already collected by the Bureau as part of our wider Covert Drone War research.”

The site said: “Those killed by drones include high-ranking militant leaders … But according to credible media reports analysed by the Bureau, the dead also include at least 400 civilians.

“Some were unlucky enough to be nearby when militants were attacked. Others were killed alongside their husbands or fathers, who were believed to be militants. Still others were mistaken for terrorists by drone operators sitting thousands of miles away.

“In most cases, there is little information available about who the drones are really killing ... their deaths are typically reported as a number – their names, origins and livelihoods remain a mystery ...

“Through Naming the Dead, the Bureau aims to increase the transparency around this conflict and inform the public debate.

“Initially this project will record all names published in open-source material ― in credible reports by journalists, in legal documents presented in court, in academic studies and in field investigations carried out by human rights groups.

“In the future, the Bureau aims to identify more of the dead on a regular basis, and to uncover more details of those who have been killed. Where possible we will provide further identification ― where they were killed, and their occupations, full names and ages.”

In her much-publicised meeting with United States President Barack Obama, Malala Yousafzai, the Pakastani girl who was shot in the head on her school bus by Taliban gunmen for supporting education for girls, told the US president drone strikes were killing innocent civilians.

The White House's statement on the meeting excluding Malala's comments on drones, but she released her own statement to highlight the fact. In it, Malala said: “I also expressed my concerns that drone attacks are fueling terrorism. Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people.”