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Travel industry news

19 Nov 2018

BY James Chapple


Government ‘let down’ families of Sousse terror attacks

Families who lost loved ones in overseas terror attacks ranging from the Sousse massacre to the Bali bombing have criticised the government for its response to the incidents.

Sousse Tunisia

Government ‘let down’ families of Sousse terror attacks

Campaign group Survivors Against Terror, the Guardian reports, will on Wednesday (November 21) publish the findings of its interviews with some 270 people affected by terrorism.

These include relatives of those killed in the 2015 Sousse attack, in which 30 Tui holidaymakers were gunned down on the beach in the Tunisian holiday resort.

The report, Giving Voice to Survivors, also aims to highlight the experiences of those actually caught up in such attacks.

It found almost half (49%) of those involved in overseas terror attacks described support from local governments, authorities or agencies as poor or inadequate. Support from the UK government and Foreign Office fared little better, with 46% saying this support was poor.

Jo Berry, who sits on the Survivors Against Terror board, said the Foreign Office had “failed to provide the support the public would expect, and that survivors deserve” following the 2015 Sousse attack and the 2002 Bali bombing.

Feedback from interviewees included families being told loved ones had survived when they hadn’t, as well as “unprofessional treatment” and a lack of resources to provide adequate support.

“It’s critical the Foreign Office listens to the voices of survivors and overhauls their approach to mass incidents affecting British citizens overseas,” said Berry.

The report cites the experience of Elizabeth McMillan, who was on the beach in Sousse when the gunman opened fire, killing 38 people.

She said she was advised to contact the Samaritans, the NHS, her GP and victim support rather than any particular government department or service.

A Foreign Office spokesperson told the Guardian: “We have over 750 consular staff in 268 locations and in 2017 they assisted British nationals in over 30,000 cases, with nearly 4,000 of those being deaths abroad. We welcome feedback and use it to improve our services and staff training.”

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