Terror victims from across world to get voice

7th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

7 February 2006, VALENCIA — Victims of terrorism from across the world are to meet next week to give 'the anonymous' a chance to speak out, organisers said.

7 February 2006

VALENCIA — Victims of terrorism from across the world are to meet next week to give 'the anonymous' a chance to speak out, organisers said.

The 3rd International Congress of Terror Victims, to take place in Valencia between 13-14 February, will bring together at least 300 who have suffered directly from terrorism around the world.

Most are victims of the Basque terrorist group Eta, and of the armed conflict in Colombia, though there will also be victims of 9/11 and the Madrid bombings and 7/7 attacks in London.

Maite Pagazaurtundua, president of the Foundation for Terror Victims which is organising the event, said it would provide a platform where terrorism's "anonymous" victims can speak out, since they are the "weakest link" in the panorama of terror.

The public has no idea who these people are, she said, and yet all have suffered "in silence for many years" the consequences of attacks that have marked their lives forever.

Conference director Cayetano Gonzalez said that of the 650 who have registered to attend, 300 are direct victims of terrorism.

There will be 235 people caught up in Eta attacks, 15 who were wounded in the Madrid bombings, plus 30 victims of other Spanish terrorist groups, while about 20 come from other countries.

Among the latter are nine victims of Colombia's armed conflict.

In 2005, Bogota hosted the second edition of this conference, after the first was held in Madrid.

Also present will be those caught in the 9/11 World Trade Center attack, IRA attacks, the siege of the Russian school in Beslan, the Palestine-Israeli conflict and the London Tube bombings of 7/7.

The conference will offer five roundtables, with the first dedicated to foreign victims, the second dealing specifically with Colombia, the third with Eta and the fourth with the Madrid train bombings, while at the last meeting experts from Spain, the United States and Colombia will explore the psychological aftermath of terror attacks.

Among the speakers will be Europe's commissioner of justice, liberty and security, Franco Fratini; Britain's home office minister, Hazel Blears; and Spain's high commissioner for the support of terrorism victims, Gregorio Peces-Barba.

"Many anonymous victims of terrorism will receive the kind of recognition from the public in Valencia" which they have never been given before in spite of their personal misfortunes, Pagazaurtundua said, comparing the tolerant and democratic values they have transmitted to their children with "the hatred" of those who justify violence.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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