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Hamida Bashir who lost son in Docklands bomb fought for all victims


By Adrian Rutherford

A woman who lost her son in the IRA's Docklands bombing before dedicating her life to championing the cause of victims has died.

Hamida Bashir endured tremendous suffering following the February 1996 blast.

Her son Inam, a 29-year-old newsagent, was killed and her husband passed away months later.

For the next 21 years Mrs Bashir dedicated her life to supporting all victims of terrorist violence.

She was co-founder and patron of the Docklands Victims Association (DVA), set up in the wake of the attack.

Mrs Bashir passed away aged 75 on December 31 surrounded by family and friends.

DVA president Jonathan Ganesh, who himself suffered appalling injuries in the bombing, said: "It has been my immense privilege and honour to have known Mrs Bashir for over 25 years.

"Her kindness, integrity and humanity will be greatly missed as her determination to help those in need was truly unprecedented."

Through her voluntary work at the DVA over the last 21 years Mrs Bashir tirelessly worked on many victims' issues.

She campaigned for the Nigerian Chibok schoolgirls who had been kidnapped by Boko Haram and also pleaded with Isis for the release of hostages, such as Alan Henning, held in Syria.

For many years she campaigned courageously for all British victims of Gaddafi-sponsored IRA terrorism, criticising the failure of UK Governments to secure compensation.

Mrs Bashir felt successive Governments had abandoned the victims and their families.

She refused to accept any financial compensation for the loss of her son, but felt compelled to campaign to rectify what she saw as an appalling lack of equality.

Mrs Bashir passionately believed that all human life must be valued regardless of nationality, religion and creed.

Mr Ganesh added: "The DVA are absolutely heartbroken as a consequence of Mrs Bashir's passing. However, we would like to express our immense gratitude to all the courageous people who had the moral courage to support her as a result of her concerns for others.

"Mrs Bashir's willingness to challenge injustice and to defend the weak has undoubtedly enhanced humanity."

Susanne Dodd, the daughter of Met Police Inspector Stephen Dodd who died in the IRA Harrods bombing in December 1983, also paid tribute.

Ms Dodd said: "She was a lovely person who cared so much for others despite her own suffering.

"Her work at the DVA has helped countless victims and their families."

Joe Holbeach, who was severely injured in the IRA's Poppy Day bombing in Enniskillen in November 1987, said: "This is very sad day. She fought for all victims.

"Mrs Bashir had more compassion than our UK Government as she campaigned for us to ensure we were not forgotten. She will be greatly missed by all in Northern Ireland."

Mrs Bashir was laid to rest at Lambeth Cemetery, London, on January 3, alongside her son.

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