by Robin Priestley Apr 18th, 2016
Malik Jalal and UK human rights charity Reprieve are currently running a campaign on the 38 Degrees Campaigns by You website. Calling on Philip Hammond, our foreign minister to remove Malik from any drone ‘kill lists’.
You can see the campaign here:
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about the campaign, with answers below:
Who is running this campaign?
Who is Malik Jalal?
What is a kill list?
Why is he on the kill list? Is he a terrorist?
How does he know he’s on a ‘kill list’?
Why was he allowed into the UK and into Parliament?
What does Malik want?
How can I help Malik?
“Reprieve is a small, high impact human rights charity. Our lawyers and investigators assist more than 70 people facing the death penalty in 25 different countries and 17 men imprisoned in Guantánamo Bay, and are leading the fight against US-led missile drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen.
To date, we have secured the release of 67 prisoners from Guantánamo Bay – more than any other NGO or law firm in the world – and have helped over 300 clients to avoid execution overseas.”
You can visit their website here: www.reprieve.org.uk
Malik lives near the Pakistan/Afghanistan border and is a senior member of the “North Waziristan Peace Committee”. Who are tasked by the Pakistani government with negotiating peace in the region.
Malik says: ”The US has deemed some of the groups I negotiate with its enemies, but I believe the only way to achieve peace is by talking to all sides.”
You can read more about Malik’s story here:
A kill list is a very secretive list that the UK and US government secret services have. They use it to decide who to target with drone strikes.
You can read more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disposition_Matrix
Malik believes he’s mistakenly on the kill list because of his work in the region:
“I am a senior member of the North Waziristan Peace Committee. We are tasked by the Pakistani government with negotiating peace in my region. The US has deemed some of the groups I negotiate with its enemies, but I believe the only way to achieve peace is by talking to all sides.
I also believe that I am on a ‘Kill List’ because of my efforts.
I am happy to answer any questions the US or UK may have. All I ask is this: please stop trying to kill me, my family and my colleagues from the North Waziristan Peace Committee.”
“I am aware that the Americans and their allies think the Peace Committee is a front, and that we are merely creating a safe space for the Pakistan Taliban. To this I say: you are wrong. You have never been to Waziristan, so how would you know?
The mantra that the West should not negotiate with “terrorists” is naive. There has hardly ever been a time when terrorists have been brought back into the fold of society without negotiation. Remember the IRA; once they tried to blow up your prime minister, and now they are in parliament. It is always better to talk than to kill.
I have travelled half way across the world because I want to resolve this dispute the way you teach: by using the law and the courts, not guns and explosives.
Ask me any question you wish, but judge me fairly – and please stop terrorizing my wife and children. And take me off that Kill List.”
From the independent newspaper:
Asked about accusations of links with the Taliban, Mr Jalal said his committee was not affiliated with the “crazy” Islamists and worked for peace in a framework mandated by the Pakistani government.
“In all my negotiations with the Taliban we were always very clear with them that we would not support violence,” he added.
His anger remains over America’s drone strikes, which have killed between 400 and 950 civilians in Pakistan since the CIA campaign began in 2004 according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
Its data tracking project recorded 128 strikes in the 2010 peak, with numbers of reported attacks dropping ever since.
Such was the frequency of drone attacks in Waziristan that locals have their own word to describe the remains of a human body hit by a Hellfire missile – a “bugsplat”
Malik has already been targeted several times by drones. He says
“Many people have already been killed in the strikes targeting me. When I leant my vehicle to my nephew, it was targeted by a missile and he was nearly killed. When I accepted a friend’s dinner invitation, his house was hit just before I arrived, killing three people. When my colleagues met to resolve a local dispute, they were targeted and 40 innocent people were killed.
My children are terrified that next time they will succeed and kill me. But I am worried that they will become victims too.
I have been warned that Americans and their allies had me and others from the Peace Committee on their Kill List. I cannot name my sources, as they would find themselves targeted for trying to save my life. But it leaves me in no doubt that I am one of the hunted.”
Malik was given a visa to the UK after being invited to speak at parliament by Lord Ken MacDonald about his experiences. While he was here he spoke to several members of parliament.
“I am in England this week because I decided that if Westerners wanted to kill me without bothering to come to speak with me first, perhaps I should come to speak to them instead. I’ll tell my story so that you can judge for yourselves whether I am the kind of person you want to be murdered.”
He has now travelled back to Pakistan, and believes that his life’s in danger once again.
Malik wants Philip Hammond, the UK foreign minister to help make sure that he is taken off any ‘kill lists’ either ones that our secret services have, and to put pressure on the US government to remove him from theirs too.
Clive Stafford Smith, Director of Reprieve, said: “It is horrifying that, in the 21st Century, we have drawn up a list of people we want to kill.
“Malik Jalal puts a very human face on the horror of this policy. If democracy means anything at all, the Prime Minister must order a full and transparent inquiry into the Kill List, starting today.”
When asked about Malik Jalal’s concerns the Home Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office both told the Independent they do not comment on matters of intelligence.
You can sign Malik’s petition to our foreign minister here: