German freelance journalist, Emran Feroz has launched a website listing the names of every single person killed by a drone strike anywhere in the world.
The project called “Drone Memorial” (www.dronememorial.com) is spearheaded by genuine hope that “people in the West do not recognise what daily life in Waziristan and other areas of the world is like when drones are hovering overhead.”
Feroz who is the son of an Afghan immigrant said to 5Pillarz: “I am grateful to be in Europe while my fellow Afghans are becoming victims of extrajudicial murder under the War on Terror.
“Whilst people continue talking about victims of “radical religious groups”, nobody talks about the cold blooded butchering of drone victims. I want to be their voice. I want to show everybody as many names as possible, not just statistics.”
Feroz’s project is very simple. It’s a single page website in the form of a virtual memorial for all the victims of drone strikes. He added: “Let’s be honest, creating such a website isn’t difficult. Many names are already available. So I decided to go ahead with it.”
The 22-year-old realised the need for an online memorial while doing research for articles for his blog and 5Pillarz on drone attacks. Feroz found difficulties in locating a comprehensive list of names of those who were killed.
Feroz said: “I was shocked and angry that there are so many memorials in cities for victims of terrorism, but there isn’t any memorial for more than 3,000 victims of US drones attacks, not even an online one!
“There are virtual memorials for fictional characters from TV or video games but not for the victims of these heartless attacks which take place every week. Honestly, it was sickening and I want to change that.”
There may be a dilemma in attempting to form such a list because the names of some of the deceased have been kept secret. While details on civilians can be possessed with the help of local communities and NGOs, others might not be as forthcoming.
Feroz said: “At this present moment in time I don’t know if there is any possibility for me to contact all the necessary people. However, it would be a big advantage to talk with all parties concerned who could assist me in any way.
“As a journalist I am not opposed to doing it, inevitably I will have to talk with as many people as possible. But unfortunately, it seems impossible to get all the names, but that does not mean I will stop trying.”
Emran Feroz is a regular contributor for 5Pillarz. You can follow him on Twitter @Emran_Feroz