Not too long ago I wrote an article for the Guardian regarding the use of predator drones under the Obama administration – what I termed the Obama Doctrine. George W Bush may have detained countless numbers of individuals and sent them off to Guantanamo Bay and secret prisons around the world, however, at least most of them are alive and some of them have even been released and are now able to tell their side of the story. Those tragically killed by the drones used in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and Yemen do not have the opportunity to claim their innocence. We are told simply that these people were suspected Al Qaeda or insurgents and that they had to be taken down, however there remains no evidence to prove otherwise.
The problem is exacerbated though once we consider the impact on civilians and the number of innocent lives that are taken on an almost daily basis. Families are often left wondering why it is that they had their loved ones taken away by these attacks – which seem to be indiscriminate. Just again yesterday there were more civilian casualties in Afghanistan – all of which culminate in the ever increasing hatred for the presence of the US and their allies within the various countries they operate in.
Cageprisoners has decided that the time has come to work towards stopping the killing of our brothers and sisters around the world. We request that you join us at our event on Saturday 21 August at the Water Lily Centre in order to learn more about what is taking place with these attacks and helping our work, whether it is through your time or through donations.
Although the main emphasis of the evening will be on the drone attacks, we have also invited one international speaker to join us for the evening to speak about prisoner issues. Amina Masood Janjua is the wife of Masood Ahmad Janjua who has been in secret detention in Pakistan since 2006. Amina has tirelessly campaigned for Masood’s release, but even more importantly, she has taken it upon herself to help over 700 families who have found themselves in a similar situation.
Having met Amina a number of times over the last four years, she is among the most incredible women I have met over the course of my work. She has kept her husband’s business running, raised her children to be wonderful, kind and giving individuals and she helped quite literally hundreds of other people. Tragically there have been a number of family deaths while Masood has been away, and it is Amina who has kept the family going through her amazing will and love for her husband.
Amina has become an inspiration for me and the work that we do at Cageprisoners. Her relentless pursuit for justice has provided support for so many families as she ferries them through the legal process and coordinates massive demonstrations around Pakistan. Amina’s situation is representative of hundreds of families all over Pakistan, and it is through her voice that the true value of their plight can be understood.