Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Maya Evans (left) with Mary Dobbing in Kabul in 2012.

Drone expert presents findings

Expert drone researcher Mary Dobbing is coming to Hastings this Sunday to give a presentation about the hot issue of drone warfare and the rapid development of drone technology.

Mary Dobbing works for Drone Wars UK as a leading researcher in her field. She also visited Afghanistan nine months ago as part of a peace delegation led by local peace activist Maya Evans, who will be hosting the talk.

Mary’s unique presentation will blend cutting-edge research knowledge on drone technology with her first-hand experience of visiting a country currently plagued by British drone strikes – 365 so far, according to Ministry of Defence (MoD) statistics.

While in Kabul, Mary met with individuals who have lost family members to drone strikes. She is also one of the very few independent British eye-witnesses to observe the results of 12 years of NATO/US occupation.

She said: “Visiting Kabul reinforced for me the utter futility of military intervention in bringing peace, justice and unity to the Afghan people. Meeting the families of victims of the war showed the iniquity of Britain’s use of hi-tech weaponry delivered by remote-controlled drones and the official secrecy which surrounds it.”

The presentation comes the day before a two-day Information Tribunal, which will take place in central London on 23 and 24 September, examining MoD’s refusal to provide Drone Wars UK with information about the UK’s use of Reaper drones in Afghanistan.

The tribunal will call upon a legal opinion by Public Interest Lawyers in Birmingham, who published a 52-page legal opinion in The Guardian earlier this year. The opinion states: “It is highly likely that the UK’s current use of drones is unlawful. There is a strong probability that the UK has misdirected itself as to the requirements of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) principles of proportionality, distinction and humanity and as to its human rights obligation to protect human life and to investigate all deaths (civilians and combatants alike) arguably caused in breach of that obligation.”

At the meeting on Sunday, there will be an opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the morality of this new form of warfare.


The event is part of a national tour by anti-drone campaigners, leading up to a Drones Week of Action running from 5 to 12 October.

2pm, Sunday 22 September, at Friends Meeting House, South Terrace, Hastings.

You can find more about UK’s use of drones here.

Posted 08:20 Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 In: Campaigns

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