Jun 27 2015
British tourists condemn “rudeness” of British Foreign Office in wake of Islamic terrorist attack at Tunisian resort hotel where they were vacationing
Hey, it was YOUR decision to vacation in a MUSLIM country. You deserve no special attention or consideration after Muslim terrorists attack you.
The Guardian Survivors of the Tunisian massacre have criticised the initial Foreign Office response to the tragedy, with one describing its approach as “rude and ignorant.”
Witnesses described being left for hours in the aftermath of the shootings without information, while others said consular officials were slow to reach the scene of the slaughter, claiming that journalists had arrived at the site before them.
Conor Fulford, from Tamworth, Staffordshire, said that in the chaos of the shootings, as he tried to find news of his mother, Sue Davey, the Foreign Office was so dismissive it left him dumbfounded.
Fulford, who was staying in one of the hotels in Sousse where the attack took place, said: “They just said if they find any leads then they will let us know. I’m at a loss for words at the minute. It just comes across as rude and ignorant. It’s unbelievable.
Other travelers criticised tour operator Thomson’s response to the tragedy, saying that its office, close to the main entrance to the hotel Riu Imperial Maharba, one of the hotels involved in the shootings, had its door open but was deserted.
Witnesses also described survivors sitting in groups at tables in the atrium, some crying and asking people about the fate of missing loved ones. On the terrace, tourists – some still in their swimsuits – sat around being served drinks by equally distressed staff.
We’ve not seen anyone from Thomson: I don’t know where they are,” said one Scottish tourist, who asked not to be named, on Friday night. As journalists arrived, some asked if there was any information on what they should do, or whether they could leave the hotel.
Survivor Glenn Whitehead had been concerned about security in Tunisia following the massacre of tourists in March at the Bardot museum in Tunis, so he contacted Thomson on the eve of his holiday and claims he was assured that security was fine.
Whitehead’s concerns meant that he and and his wife Anita decided not to leave the hotel to visit Sousse town during their holiday, believing the hotel was well guarded. Anita said: “We haven’t seen anyone from Thomson. We’ve not been told anything.”
She said they had stayed at the hotel the year before, and were comforted then by the sight of daily patrols by police on horseback along the beach. Yet this year, she said, she saw the patrol only once, shortly before the gunman struck.
Despite being the premier location in Sousse, the Marhaba hotel had no armed police or security staff, effectively allowing the gunman to roam the beach and the hotel shooting people at will. Security forces took more than half an hour to arrive.
One Thomson official at the hotel, who did not want to be named, said: “The terrorists knew exactly what they were doing. This is the top hotel here. They knew the effect it would have.”