Gulf war hostages lobby MPs for loans

HOSTAGES held as Saddam Hussein's Gulf war 'human shield' asked the Government yesterday for loans to give them 'a breathing space to deal with appalling psychological trauma'.

Fifty former hostages, some of whom lost their jobs, homes and possessions and have suffered anxiety and panic attacks, lobbied MPs. Mike Gapes, Labour MP for Ilford South, tabled an early day motion calling on the Government to force Iraq to comply with a UN compensation scheme and to give the victims 'temporary loans, like the Maxwell pensioners'.

Andy Charles, chair of Hostages of the Middle East, said 800 British citizens were taken hostage after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait two years ago and nearly 1,500 went into hiding. One was murdered, eight died from heart attacks or committed suicide, up to 17 women were raped and 70 captives were seriously assaulted, some suffering mock executions.

The Government's response had been 'thoroughly inadequate'.

Financial worries had compounded their 'untreated emotional and psychological problems'. Loans, to be repaid after victims received compensation through the United Nations, would 'release the pressure'.

Don Major, 57, the father of Wendy Major, 32, a former captive, died of a heart attack in Baghdad after she and her mother, Brenda, 55, were freed. Ms Major and her mother are being evicted from their Southampton home, where they have been living on social security, in September. She said: 'Since my dad died everything has gone wrong. I have poor vision, bad anxiety, I have lost teeth and get bad headaches.

'Mum has really gone down hill and I find it hard to look after her. She's depressed, she drinks. She talks to my dad every night. It's horrible.'

Matthew Lee, 60, an engineer, who hid in a cupboard under stairs in a Kuwaiti block of flats for almost five months and was assaulted by soldiers, said he was destitute. 'I have made 1,000 applications for jobs but I have not got one.'

Under a UN scheme set up last year, up to 30 per cent of Iraqi oil revenues can be used to compensate the victims but Iraq has refused to comply. The Foreign Office last night ruled out government help. Taxpayers' money should not be advanced to claimants against a foreign government, a spokeswoman said.

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
Voices
voicesSiobhan Norton on why she eventually changed her mind
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Sport
Scottish singer Susan Boyle will perform at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow
commonwealth games
News
Lane Del Rey performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014
people... but none of them helped me get a record deal, insists Lana Del Rey
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Java Developer

£40000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a...

SAP Functional Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £45,000 - £55,000.

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Functional ...

Javascript Developer

£40000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a...

FLEX Developer

£45000 - £65000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, ...

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn