Drone victim family will be first to testify before Congress
Rafiq ur Rehman, a primary school teacher in Pakistan's beleaguered Waziristan province has felt personally and profoundly the impact of U.S. drone strikes in his region. In one strike last October, not only were his three young children, aged five to 13, injured, but his 67-year-old mother was killed.
"A year later, Rehman still has no idea why his mother, Momina Bibi, a 67-year-old midwife, was blown to pieces while tending her garden," wrote Ryan Devereaux in the Guardian this weekend, having interviewed Rehman and his family during their first trip to the United States. It is a landmark visit: The Rehmans will be the first drone victims to testify in front of Congress, having been invited by Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fl.) to speak on Tuesday.
The family's journey to Capitol Hill has not been a smooth one. As noted here in September, their lawyer (also a fellow with U.K. human rights group, Reprieve) Shahzad Akbar had his visa to enter the U.S. delayed for what he believes were political reasons.