Figen Murray awarded OBE for counter-terror security campaign

June 27, 2022

The mother of a Manchester Arena bombing victim has been awarded the OBE for her successful campaign for greater security at venues.

Figen Murray, whose son Martyn Hett died in the 2017 attack, accepted her medal at Buckingham Palace.

Since his death, the mother of five studied for a Master’s degree in counter-terrorism and lobbied for public spaces to be safer.

The Government’s Protect Duty bill was announced in the Queen’s Speech. It had been delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

As it stands, both private and public owners of venues and sites have no obligation to act on advice from specialist counter-terrorism advisers about threat risk mitigation.

As a result of the new bill, in the wake of the Manchester Arena bombing, the law would introduce new requirements for certain venues or public spaces to have terrorism response strategies in place.

Called Martyn’s Law, the bill has yet to get through the Houses of Commons and Lords before it is enacted.

Figen, 60, received her OBE from the Duke of Cambridge.

After the investiture, she said: “Today is a special day for my family and I am incredibly humbled and honoured to have been awarded an OBE.

“The Manchester Arena attack changed my life forever, and I know my son Martyn would be touched by all of the work I am doing in memory of him.

“Whilst the bomber sought to spread hatred and division that night, I am determined to share the values that Martyn held so close to his heart – love, kindness and tolerance – to make our young people more understanding and resilient to extremist influences.

“But there is also work to be done around safety at public places and venues. We should all be able to enjoy attending these venues in the knowledge that we are protected against potential terrorist attacks.

“I am grateful that the Government announced plans to introduce Martyn’s Law into legislation earlier this year, and I want to use this opportunity to thank the Government for all the work that goes into creating this important piece of legislation.

“We have an opportunity before us to set the world leading standards and legislation that will provide organisations, businesses and their employees the training and tools to prevent future terror attacks and keep the public safe.

“I look forward to working closely with the Government to ensure this happens.”

Martyn, who was 29 and from Stockport, near Manchester, was one 22 victims who died at the Ariana Grande concert.

Bomber Salman Abedi set the device off as concert-goers left the the venue.

More than 60 were seriously injured in the attack and more than 100 taken to hospital as a result of the blast.

Abedi’s brother, Hashem, was jailed for life for assisting the bomber in the plan.

Salman Abedi was born in Manchester on New Year’s Eve 1994 to Libyan parents, who had fled their homeland as opponents to Colonel Gaddafi’s regime.

After a few years in London, the family, including a sister and two brothers, moved to Manchester where Abedi’s father did the call to prayer at a mosque in Didsbury.

Friends of Abedi remember him as a good footballer, a keen supporter of Manchester United and a user of cannabis.

Abedi attended Burnage Academy for Boys, Manchester between 2009 and 2011, before going to The Manchester College until 2013 and then onto Salford University in 2014.

According to her website, Figen worked as a counsellor, a life coach and offered clinical supervision to other counsellors too for more than two decades.

“As part of her She has always had a passion for listening to other people’s troubles – helping them get back on track to lead happier, healthier lives is a role she finds both challenging and rewarding,” the site says.

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