'In their eyes, we don’t deserve to live like people in the rest of the world,' said the victim ahead of his ultimate death, 'and we don’t have feelings or emotions or cry or feel pain like all the other humans around the world.'
Mohammed Saleh Tauiman was 13 when the Guardian newspaper gave him a camera to record his family life. (Photograph: via the Guardian)
Just weeks after speaking with western journalists about his pervasive fear of the U.S. drones flying overhead in his home country of Yemen, 13-year-old Mohammed Tuaiman was reportedly killed in a CIA-directed bombing on January 26.
His family vows that it will demand justice for Mohammed and insists, "He wasn’t a member of al-Qaida. He was a kid."
As Common Dreamsreported on January 27, the suspected CIA drone strike which killed Mohammed was the first such attack reported in Yemen this year and came just two days after U.S. military officials announced that the drone campaign would not by deterred by ongoing unrest in the region.
Mohammed's father and one of his brothers were killed by a U.S. drone in 2011, which sparked the young boy's fear of what he called the U.S. "death machines." Subsequently interviewed by the Guardian, and given a camera in order to document his life in war-torn Yemen, Mohammed spoke earnestly and openly about the dangers and fears that plagued his life.
When the Guardian interviewed Mohammed last September, he spoke of his anger towards the U.S. government for killing his father. "They tell us that these drones come from bases in Saudi Arabia and also from bases in the Yemeni seas and America sends them to kill terrorists, but they always kill innocent people. But we don’t know why they are killing us."
"In their eyes, we don’t deserve to live like people in the rest of the world and we don’t have feelings or emotions or cry or feel pain like all the other humans around the world."
This video, produced by the Guardian, tells the story of Mohammed Tuaiman and mostly features footage he shot himself, reflecting on his life in Yemen and conducting interviews with family members:
So far, both the CIA and the Pentagon have refused to comment on the drone attack which took Mohammed's life.
Speaking with the Guardian, Mohammed's older brother Meqdad, vowed to seek justice for his family. "We live in injustice and we want the United States to recognise these crimes against my father and my brothers. They were innocent people, we are weak, poor people, and we don’t have anything to do with this."