THE New Zealand parents of triplets killed in a Doha mall fire in May said the celebration of its reopening is “the equivalent of sweeping a crime under the rug”.
Wellingtonians Martin and Jane Weekes are calling for a boycott of the Villaggio shopping complex until their concerns are dealt with.
Their three children – Lillie, Jackson and Willsher Weekes, aged -, were among 19 people who died – 13 of them children – when the mall went up in flames.
They were trapped in the nursery.
They joined the parents of the other children killed – from eight different countries – in sending an open letter to the Doha News newspaper, APNZ reported.
“To the editor, It is outrageous, hurtful and indefensible that the owners of Villaggio Mall would celebrate the reopening of the place where our 13 children died, especially given that we have not heard a thing about the investigation, have not been apprised of any meaningful reforms in the wake of the tragedy, nor received an offers of a just financial settlement.”
It goes on to say the owners should not be able to mark a return to business as usual, and they would petition the authorities to keep the doors locked.
“This is the equivalent of sweeping a crime under the rug and we won’t stand for it.”
“And we plan to take our campaign worldwide to ensure that potential tourists are aware of the Villaggio Mall’s safety record and legacy of death and destruction,” the letter read.
It was noted in an initial report into the cause of the blaze that it was caused by widespread negligence by many parties.
The nursery wasn’t licensed as required and did not have adequate safety measures in place.
Mall management told Doha News that despite hopes the mall would open this week, no official opening date had been set and it was still awaiting clearance from Civil Defence.