Aya Hachem, student killed in UK shooting, to be buried in Lebanon

Hachem in a photo released by the Lancashire Police.
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Updated 23 May 2020

Aya Hachem, student killed in UK shooting, to be buried in Lebanon

  • She is not believed to have been the intended target of the drive-by shooting

BEIRUT: The burial of Aya Hachem, the 19-year-old law student killed in a drive-by shooting in Blackburn in the north of England on Sunday, May 17, is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 23 in her family’s hometown of Qlaileh, near Tyre in Lebanon.

Hachem’s father, mother, two brothers and sister have returned to Lebanon from Blackburn — where they currently live — with her body on a flight operated by national airline MEA.

Hachem — who was in her second year as a law student at the University of Salford — was hit in the chest by one of several bullets fired from a vehicle as she walked to a supermarket near her home. She is not believed to have been the intended target of the drive-by.

Hachem’s uncle, Hassan, told Arab News that his brother Ismail, Hachem’s father, decided to emigrate to the UK and seek asylum after retiring from his position as a first sergeant in the Lebanese army. Another of their brothers was already living in England at the time.

“(Ismail) loved the country and submitted an application in which he requested asylum for the … security reasons prevailing in Lebanon. His request was approved and he is unemployed till now,” Hassan said, adding that family members are “heartbroken.”

“Her father left Lebanon to protect his family, but he lost his eldest daughter,” he said. “My brother called me on the day of the crime to say ‘Aya is gone,
my brother.’”


Britain’s Iraq war crimes probe dismisses thousands of complaints

Updated 4 min 46 sec ago

Britain’s Iraq war crimes probe dismisses thousands of complaints

  • Former lawyer Phil Shiner and a team in Berlin drew on the accounts of more than 400 Iraqis who allegedly witnessed or experienced crimes

LONDON: An independent British investigator looking into allegations that UK soldiers committed war crimes in Iraq between 2003 and 2009 said Tuesday that all but one of the thousands of complaints have been dropped.
The Service Prosecuting Authority director Andrew Cayley told BBC radio that it was “quite possible” that none of the original allegations will lead to a prosecution.
Cayley did not provide details of the allegation in the last remaining case.
British combat troops fought alongside other coalition forces in an effort to quell an Islamic insurgency that followed the 2003 US invasion and subsequent fall and execution of dictator Saddam Hussein.
Former lawyer Phil Shiner and a team in Berlin drew on the accounts of more than 400 Iraqis who allegedly witnessed or experienced crimes ranging from rape and torture to mock executions and other atrocities.
A UK tribunal struck off Shiner after finding him guilty of misconduct and dishonesty in connection with the allegations in 2017.
Cayley told the BBC that it was likely that no action would be taken in a separate International Criminal Court (ICC) probe.
“My sense is these matters are coming to a conclusion,” he said.
A lawyer representing some of the soldiers accused by Shiner called for a public apology over the “vile war crime slurs.”
“At long last, this witch hunt is coming to an end,” lawyer Hilary Meredith said.
The UK Defense Ministry said in 2012 that it had paid £15.1 million ($19 million, 17 million euros) to more than 200 Iraqis who had accused British troops of illegal detention and torture.