Gov­ern­ment has bro­ken my heart: IRA vic­tim’s mum

Fury as fund for fam­i­lies dev­as­tated by Libyan-backed ter­ror­ism is re­jected

Belfast Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - BY ADRIAN RUTHERFORD

THE mother of a man killed by the IRA in the London Dock­lands bomb­ing has said the Gov- ern­ment has “bro­ken my heart” over its lack of ac­tion to se­cure com­pen­sa­tion from Libya.

Hamida Bashir’s son Inam (29) was one of two peo­ple killed in the 1996 ex­plo­sion pow­ered by Sem­tex handed to the IRA by for­mer Libyan dic­ta­tor Muam­mar Gaddafi.

Speak­ing af­ter the Gov­ern­ment re­jected calls from MPs for a scheme to com­pen­sate vic­tims of Libyan-spon­sored IRA ter­ror­ism, Ms Bashir said: “To­day the Gov­ern­ment broke my heart.”

THE mother of a man killed in an IRA bomb­ing has crit­i­cised the lack of Gov­ern­ment ac­tion to se­cure com­pen­sa­tion from Libya.

Hamida Bashir said it had bro­ken her heart.

Her son Inam (29) was one of two peo­ple who died in the 1996 Dock­lands bomb­ing in the mid­dle of London’s fi­nan­cial district.

Mrs Bashir has been cam­paign­ing for re­dress for other vic­tims of Libyan-spon­sored IRA ter­ror­ism.

She said she was ap­palled by the Gov­ern­ment’s fail­ure to set up a repa­ra­tions fund.

“To­day the Gov­ern­ment broke my heart,” Mrs Bashir told the Belfast Tele­graph.

“As I have said, I will not ac­cept or re­quire any com­pen­sa­tion for the loss of my beloved son, but I sup­port all those who have been left se­verely dis­abled by Gaddafi and the IRA.

“The Gov­ern­ment should be ashamed of them­selves be­cause they have dis­graced all the UK vic­tims of ter­ror.”

Inam and John Jef­fries died when the mas­sive lorry bomb ex­ploded on Fe­bru­ary 9, 1996. It caused £150m of dam­age and left more than 100 peo­ple in­jured.

Mrs Bashir said the lack of ac­tion by the Gov­ern­ment con­trasted with other coun­tries, in­clud­ing the United States.

In 2008 it emerged Libya had paid $1.5bn (£1.1bn) to a US com­pen­sa­tion fund for ter­ror at­tacks blamed on Tripoli.

They in­clude the 1988 Locker­bie bomb­ing that killed 270 peo­ple and the 1986 bomb­ing of a Ber­lin disco that killed three.

Mrs Bashir added: “How can it be that US, France and Ger­man lives were val­ued but those in the UK were worth noth­ing?

“This re­port shows the Gov­ern­ment has great words of false sym­pa­thy but in re­al­ity they don’t care as we are all ex­pend­able. The Gov­ern­ment has made me cry to­day as they truly don’t care.”

Wil­lie Frazer, who heads a vic­tims group that has worked with the Dock­lands Vic­tims As­so­ci­a­tion and the McCue and Jury le­gal team on the is­sue of Libyan com­pen­sa­tion, said the re­sponse was “un­ac­cept­able”.

He said the Gov­ern­ment would be seen as weak and in­ca­pable.

Mr Frazer added: “We can­not fault the work of the NI Se­lect Com­mit­tee or their com­mit­ment to the vic­tims of Libyan-spon­sored ter­ror­ist vi­o­lence.

“Their re­port sought to rec­om­mend a mean­ing­ful so­lu­tion.

“The Gov­ern­ment’s go-italone, you’re on your own re­sponse is com­pletely un­ac­cept­able and lack­ing in moral courage, con­trary to the ded­i­ca­tion and de­ter­mi­na­tion of the vic­tims and their fam­i­lies.”

Lawyer Ja­son McCue, who rep­re­sents a se­ries of IRA vic­tims, said the Gov­ern­ment’s ac­tions were “shame­ful”.

“The Bri­tish Gov­ern­ment’s re­sponse to a par­lia­men­tary in­quiry that clearly found it want­ing and not per­form­ing its duty of care to vic­tims of ter­ror­ism is to con­tinue to do noth­ing, make poor un­e­d­u­cated ex­cuses and demon­strate com­plete hypocrisy,” he said.

An­drew Mackin­lay, a for­mer Labour MP and a long-stand­ing vic­tims cam­paigner, said: “This is a cal­lous, cal­cu­lat­ing fob-off by the Gov­ern­ment.

“Suc­ces­sive govern­ments of Blair, Brown, Cameron and now May have be­trayed the vic­tims of these ter­ror­ist out­rages.”

Bal­ly­gaw­ley Bomb 1988

Brighton Bomb 1984

Shankill Bomb 1993

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