Acid attack girls frustrated over delay in bringing assailants to justice

By Rosa Doherty, November 29, 2013
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The families of the two Jewish women targeted in an acid attack in Zanzibar say the UK government must apply more pressure on the Tanzanian authorities to bring their attackers to justice.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Kirstie Trup and Katie Gee’s parents said there was no “sense of urgency” from the Foreign Office.

A suspect had been arrested by the local police but the families had not yet seen a photo of him, for the women to identify.

Miss Trup’s father Marc Trup said: "It just seems ridiculous that we haven't seen it and the girls haven't seen it and, as time goes on, their memory will fade."

The women, from north-west London, were volunteering as teachers in the African country when they had acid throw n on them as they walked through the Zanzibar capital, Stone Town in August. They were left with burns to their faces, chests and hands.

Mr Trup said the prosecution of those responsible for the attack was taking too long.

"I suspect the Tanzanian authorities don't take the Foreign Office remotely seriously ," he said.

He added :“I would like to see whoever threw acid brought to justice. I don’t blame the country, I don’t blame the religion, I blame the person."

The partner of Miss Gee’s mother, Doug Morris, said: "If the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are as committed to helping to bring these people to justice on behalf of two British citizens, then you would expect them to move hell and high water to do that.

"And there just doesn't seem to be any sense of urgency to conclude matters."

In a statement ,the Foreign Office said it had "provided every assistance" to the families, but "cannot interfere in another country's police investigation.

"However, the British Government has stressed the importance of a thorough police investigation to find the perpetrators of the attack and to ensure they are brought to justice."

The two women still have no idea why they were targeted; their families insisted they had been dressed appropriately for a Muslim area and respectful of local customs.

Mr Trup said his daughter was “progressing mentally and physically” but, she will have to wear a pressure garment on her burns 23 hours a day for a year and visit hospital once a week for physiotherapy.”

Miss Gee , who was more seriously injured in the attack, is doing remarkably well , said Mr Morris. “She is very strong mentally and just coping with the process of healing .”

Last updated: 12:21pm, November 29 2013