Artist Hopes Massive Poster in Pakistan Will Deter Drone Operators from Killing Civilians

Since 2004, the US has carried out unlawful killings in Pakistan through drone attacks.

And despite the Obama administration promising to enforce more oversight for these strikes, the drone program continues to remain masked in secrecy.

These attacks have reportedly killed far more people, including civilians and children, than has been acknowledged by the government. Not only do the drone strikes cause deaths and severe injuries, they also have left innocent residents traumatized, as drones continue to hover over their homes 24 hours a day.

A recent study by Stanford Law School and New York University’s School of Law pleas for a re-evaluation of this clandestine military operation, saying the number of “high-level” targets actually killed as a percentage of total casualties is exceptionally low — about two percent.

In 2013 alone, the Council on Foreign Relations estimates that 253 people were killed in targeted strikes.

A group of artist-activists, inspired by the French photographer JR, recently placed a large magnified portrait of an unnamed girl, who is said to have lost both parents and two younger siblings in an attack, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

With the assistance of local villagers, the artists unrolled the poster in a field next to some houses.

According to #NotABugSplat, dubbed after the description drone operators give to kills on the ground, they hope this image “will create empathy and introspection amongst drone operators, and will create dialogue amongst policy makers, eventually leading to decisions that will save innocent lives”.

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