Vic­tim­sofLibya-backed ter­ror­ism­let­dow­na­gain

Belfast Telegraph - - COMMENT -

Once again the vic­tims of ter­ror­ism have been cru­elly let down. This time it is not the fault of lo­cal politi­cians who can­not agree the way for­ward on legacy is­sues, but in­stead it’s the fault of the Gov­ern­ment.

It has turned down rec­om­men­da­tions from an all-party com­mit­tee to seek com­pen­sa­tion for those killed or in­jured as a re­sult of Libyan arms and ex­plo­sives ship­ments to the IRA in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Gov­ern­ment has not only de­clined to use its po­lit­i­cal or fi­nan­cial clout to force the Libyans to pay up for the sins of for­mer dic­ta­tor Gaddafi, but out­ra­geously said it would not be in the na­tional in­ter­est to go down that route.

The Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment did not take that at­ti­tude when it forced Libya to hand over $1.5bn (£1.1bn) dol­lars in com­pen­sa­tion for the deaths of its cit­i­zens in ter­ror­ist out­rages such as the Locker­bie air­craft bomb­ing.

But the UK Gov­ern­ment, whose prime duty should be the safe­guard­ing of its cit­i­zens, ob­vi­ously takes a dif­fer­ent view, even though the rec­om­men­da­tions came from MPs of all par­ties.

It should be re­mem­bered that Gaddafi sent tons of arms and ex­plo­sives to the IRA dur­ing the Trou­bles.

That arse­nal was used to deadly ef­fect to kill hundreds of civil­ians, po­lice of­fi­cers and mem­bers of the se­cu­rity forces.

The ex­plo­sives were also used to dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect in Eng­land, blow­ing up large scale fi­nan­cial tar­gets.

Hamida Bashir’s son was killed in one of those ex­plo­sions at the Dock­lands in London in 1996.

Her re­sponse to the Gov­ern­ment’s re­fusal to seek a com­pen­sa­tion scheme for other vic­tims should make the Prime Min­is­ter and her ad­vis­ers hang their heads in shame. The Gov­ern­ment, she said, has bro­ken her heart.

North­ern Ire­land-born MP Kate Hoey, a mem­ber of the all-party com­mit­tee, was equally scathing of the de­ci­sion and oth­ers have been equally vo­cif­er­ous in their con­dem­na­tion.

But should we re­ally be sur­prised at this out­come? The vic­tims of ter­ror­ism on these is­lands have been let down by suc­ces­sive Govern­ments at West­min­ster on the is­sue of Libyan com­pen­sa­tion.

Be­reaved rel­a­tives have even been de­nied in many cases the truth about why their loved ones died and any hopes of jus­tice for their deaths has long van­ished in all but the most op­ti­mistic of minds.

This lat­est blow is just another snub to peo­ple who have suf­fered for too long.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.