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A GLASGOW charity leader has voiced criticism after a UK-wide group advised the families of travellers stranded overseas not to speak to the media.

A post on the Lucie Blackman Trust facebook page cautions families affected by wide-spread flight shut-downs not to contact the media,  “for safety reasons.”

The trust claimed it had dealt with cases where Brits had been ‘targeted and abused’ for appealing for help in the press. 

In one case the trust claimed a lone female, had been the victim of an attempted sexual assault. 

The post advises that large scale reporting “will not prioritise your case”.

The government yesterday pledged £75million to help more stranded Brits get home safely. 

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The trust was set up after the brutal murder of former air hostess Lucie Blackman, who was raped and murdered in Tokyo by a serial rapist in 2001. It provides assistance for families of those missing or killed overseas.

Julie Love, from Maryhill, who set up a similar charity, DAYNA – Death Abroad You Are Not Alone – after the death of her son Colin overseas, believes the advice sets a “dangerous precedent”.

She said: “I understand there has been safety issues but asking families NOT to reach out to media and saying it won’t help prioritise the cause is so wrong.

“It’s only going to be media pressure that helps these families and get the FCO moving to put on rescue flights that other European countries have already been doing.

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“They have only posted on Facebook as it’s mainly families on the FB page and not on their Twitter account which has a lot of followers from the media.

“They are an organisation funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.”

Matt Searle, of the Lucie Blackman Trust, said it had taken the action to protect the safety of vulnerable travellers, whom he claimed had suffered verbal and physical abuse.

He said: “People are being targeted in terms of why are we 
covering this in the news when there are people dying from coronavirus.

“In one case there was an attempted sexual assault. 

“We are just calling for responsible reporting and not mentioning individual cases where individuals might be at risk of abuse.

“We are funded by the government but they don’t tell us what to do.

“This is an unrecedented situation. In any other cases we would welcome media coverage.”

Julie set up DAYNA after her son Colin drowned in the Caribbean and she struggled to access help to bring her son’s body home or find out what happened.