We IRA victims in Docklands must stand against Gaddafi regime
Dear Ed... The events now happening in Libya bring home what happened to us on February 9, 1996, when the IRA denoted a massive bomb packed with semtex in Canary Wharf supplied by the Gaddafi regime.
This appalling atrocity which killed Inam Bashir and John Jeffries in a news kiosk near South Quay DLR station and severely injured 40 more as the terrible force of the explosion destroyed our community.
I personally witnessed the consequence of Gaddafi’s evil support for the IRA, being injured myself and rescued from the rubble of a building where I was working.
But I also witnessed the tremendous good in the people of the East End who rallied to help the injured that awful night.
Years later, Gaddafi continued to hurt and insult us when he decided to pay compensation only to IRA victims who held US passports and arrogantly refused to help those here in East London and in Northern Ireland.
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This was an appalling injustice to all IRA victims in the UK, which was added to the lack of concern by the last Labour government which appeared more interested in oil contracts and helping the releasing of the Libyan Lockerbie bomber.
Our campaign for justice for all IRA semtex victims in the UK has had overwhelming public support, which put the last government to shame after it initially refused to help us. The campaigning eventually forced the Government to set up a Foreign Office unit to seek help for all those injured by Libyan-sponsored terrorism in the UK.
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Our campaign is now supporting the people of Libya, because standing by as other innocent people are killed by this evil regime would be appalling. We are only too aware of Gaddafi’s evil brutality, this time against his own people.
I felt immensely moved to meet other victims of Gaddafi’s regime outside the Libyan embassy recently who expressed their thanks to the people of East London for standing with them.
But our campaign for justice is suspended, pending developments in Libya and the setting up of a democratic government.
Docklands IRA Victims Association
Three Colts Street