Maya sent this letter to the Independent, and it was published this weekend:
Drones are killing the innocent in Afghanistan
David Cameron dismissed the disruption, by a dust storm, of his recent visit to Afghanistan as something that “people … out here experience all the time” (“Storm disrupts David Cameron’s Afghanistan plans”, 20 December). He was fortunate not to have been caught up in a US or British airstrike or drone attack, an all-too-common experience for many Afghans.
Indeed, in a poll for the BBC in early 2009, one in six Afghans reported NATO bombing in their area within the past year, a figure that soared to nearly half in the south-west and almost 40 per cent in the east.
Last year, during his annual Christmas visit to Afghanistan, Mr Cameron let slip that British drones had killed at least 124 “insurgents” over the previous 29 months. During my own brief visit here, I have met a 19-year-old whose brother-in-law, a trainee police officer with a wife and one-year-old son, was killed in a drone strike. There was no investigation. Perhaps this victim even found himself folded into Cameron’s list of alleged “insurgents”.
Noting that “the spirit of Herod is still at work”, a group of 450 chapels has used its Christmas message to condemn the testing of unmanned aircraft over parts of Wales. The rest of us should follow their lead by taking action to put an end to this new form of remote-control murder.