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Brother of Manchester bombing victim reveals 'astonishing' abuse from far-right trolls

Dan Hett vows to continue fight against extremism and hatred following his brother Martyn's death

Caroline Mortimer
Sunday 05 November 2017 16:06 GMT
Dan Hett (left) with Martyn's partner Russell Hayward (2nd right) at his funeral at Stockport Town Hall in June
Dan Hett (left) with Martyn's partner Russell Hayward (2nd right) at his funeral at Stockport Town Hall in June (Getty)

The brother of a Manchester bombing victim has condemned the “astonishing” abuse he has received from far-right trolls after speaking out against hatred and Islamophobia.

Dan Hett, the brother of Martyn Hett – who was one of the 22 people who died in the blast at the Manchester Arena in May – has been an outspoken critic of those who have tried to use the attack as an excuse to denounce Islam and immigration.

Posting examples of the abuse he has received on social media on Twitter, he said he was “not afraid to speak out”.

Manchester bombing victim's parents 'not giving in to hatred'

Far-right users told Mr Hett that “Islam killed [his] brother]”, that he was “a disgrace” and one wished “a terrorist [would] mow you idiots down”.

The 32-year-old said he was “tempted to post literally every message I’ve received since this began, tweets and emails and DMs, doing this online is not a shield”.

But instead, he said he would go out and enjoy a day in the park with his children.

It is not the first time the Bafta award-winning artist and creative technologist has suffered abuse or spoken out against hatred.

Mr Hett spoke to The Guardian in the weeks after his 29-year-old brother was killed to denounce those who use the actions of bomber Salman Abedi to called for an end to immigration.

The Hett brothers are “half-Turkish Mancunians” who were originally born to a Muslim family even though they are not religious.

He said: “The idea that somebody would say: ‘Oh, this is an immigration problem’ frustrates me. How is this an immigration problem? A UK-born terrorist took out, among many other people, my UK-born Turkish brother … In an alternate timeline, the roles could have been reversed.”

He has now dedicated himself to the fight against extremism and last month was announced as the first speaker a TEDx conference due to be held in Manchester in February 2018.

He will be speaking about extremism, media and technology at the event.

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, he said: “I want to talk about the responsibility of normal people to speak out and not ignore what is going on.

“I am putting myself on the line but the downside is that I am getting an enormous amount of trolling on Twitter. I am being swamped by far right extremism.

“Tech companies have got a lot of work to do to fix this problem but it is fixable.”

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