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Pak lawyer denied US visa after speaking against drone strikes

April 10, 2012 - Islamabad

Pakistani lawyer Shahzad Akbar, who had been invited to speak at an International Drone Summit in Washington on April 28, has been denied a US visa.

According to a press release by the Center for Constitutional Rights, Akbar has travelled to the US several times in the past, but has been denied a visit the country since he started speaking against the US drone strikes.

"Denying a visa to people like me is denying Americans their right to know what the US government and its intelligence community are doing to children, women and other civilians in this part of the world," The Express Tribune quoted Akbar, as saying.

The organisers of the event CODEPINK, have also expressed displeasure over the US government's decision to not allow Akbar to speak at the forum and termed the development as "outrageous".

According to the press release, he had been invited to speak at the summit, as he had been providing legal aid to drone strikes victims in Pakistan.

He is also the first person to file a case on the behalf of the family members of drone strike victims.

He is also the co-founder of a human rights organization called the Foundation for Fundamental Rights.

According to a report, at least 194 people were killed in 10 of the deadliest drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas.


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