Tributes to co-founder of Docklands victims’ group

The scene of the 1996 IRA Canary Wharf bombing in London in which Mrs Bashir lost her son, Inam
The scene of the 1996 IRA Canary Wharf bombing in London in which Mrs Bashir lost her son, Inam

Tributes have been paid to a leading campaigner for victims of Libya-IRA terrorism who died of “a broken heart” on account of being “abandoned” by the government.

Mrs Hamid Bashir, 75, lost her son Inam in the 1996 IRA bomb attack on Canary Wharf which injured around 100 people and caused around £150m of damage.

Her husband, Mohammed, died five months later, also due to “a broken heart”, said President of the Dockland’s Victims Association (DVA), Jonathan Ganesh.

Like many other IRA bombs, the Docklands attack used Semtex supplied by the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to the terror group.

The loss of her son and husband propelled Mrs Bashir, into 21 years of campaigning for victims of terrorism internationally, as patron and co-founder of the DVA, lobbying for the Nigerian Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram and for the release of ISIS hostages.

“She really died of a broken heart,” said Mr Ganesh. “I have known her for over 25 years. She never recovered from the death of her son.

“But she did not want any money - what she wanted was equal recognition for the British and Irish victims of Gaddafi sponsored IRA bombs in comparison to the compensation Libya paid to American French and German victims.”

Last year The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee slammed the government for failing to press for similar compensation for British victims, urging them to do so urgently. However to date the government has declined to do so.

Susanne Dodd, whose father, Met Police Inspector Stephen Dodd was killed in the IRA Harrods bomb in 1983, also paid tribute to her.

“She was a lovely person who cared so much for others despite her own suffering,” she said.

“Her work at the DVA has helped countless victims and their families. Mrs Bashir and others victims were abandon by successive UK governments who refused to help the victims of Gaddafi IRA terrorism.

“I’m disgusted with the government who advised this poor woman, who had already endured unimaginable terrible suffering due to the death of her son, to resolve this issue [of compensation from Libya] by herself,” she said. “I’m disgusted with the government’s disingenuous support, which has prolonged the suffering of IRA terror victims within the UK, as I feel they would like us all to die and go away.”

Mrs Bashir was buried at Lambeth Cemetery, London, on January 3, beside her son, Inam.

Meanwhile, a Private Members Bill, brought forward by Lord Empey, to secure compensation for victims of Gaddafi-sponsored IRA terror is now moving to its final stage in the House of Lords.

Ulster Unionist Peer, Lord Empey said on Wednesday that his Asset Freezing (Compensation) Bill [HL] passed its Committee stage in the House of Lords without amendment.

“As a result of there being no amendments, there is no necessity for a Report Stage. Instead, the Bill will now go forward soon for its Third and final Reading before being passed to the House of Commons.”

He added: “I want to see a full debate on the issues raised by the Bill on the floor of the House of Commons. This will force the Government to confront the long term failure by successive Governments to deal effectively with compensation for British victims [of Libya-IRA attacks].”

The US, France and Germany were all successful in getting compensation for their citizens from Libya, he added.