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Film about civilian deaths in drone strikes released

Updated October 31, 2013

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Filmmaker, Robert Greenwald, travelled to Pakistan to review the effects of US unmanned weapon and interviewed victims.
Filmmaker, Robert Greenwald, travelled to Pakistan to review the effects of US unmanned weapon and interviewed victims.

WASHINGTON: A film highlighting civilian deaths in US drone strikes was released in America on Wednesday, a day after drone survivors shared their tales with US lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

The film — “Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars” — also shows emotional protests against the strikes in cities across the world, from Islamabad to Johannesburg.

The filmmaker, Robert Greenwald, travelled to Pakistan to review the effects of US unmanned weapon that strikes from the sky and also interviewed some victims.

The film was released a week after two prominent rights groups — Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch –– reported that US drone attacks sometimes “killed civilians indiscriminately in clear violation of the laws of war”.

The reports also claimed that the drones “may (also) have targeted people who were not legitimate military objectives or caused disproportionate civilian deaths”.

The Amnesty report said the US may have committed war crimes and should stand trial for its actions.

The film begins with the story of Tariq Aziz, a 16-year-old soccer fan who attended an anti-drone conference in Islamabad in 2011 because he was concerned about the deaths in his area.

Seventy-two hours later, he was killed by a Hellfire missile fired from a US drone as he drove to pick up his aunt from a wedding. No explanation has been given for his death, other than an unproven assertion that he was a ‘terrorist’.

Mr Greenwald also narrated Tariq’s story at a congressional hearing on Tuesday, insisting that the victim was an innocent civilian who was killed because a drone could not distinguish between a civilian and a terrorist.