UK & World News

  • 20 July 2014, 22:21

Dutch Mother: 'Mr Putin, Send My Children Home'

A mother left devastated by the MH17 plane crash has appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin "to send my children home".

Silene Fredriksz spoke as many left flowers at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport to remember the 193 Dutch citizens killed when the Malaysian jet was downed by a missile over Eastern Ukraine.

Anger is growing in the Netherlands that bodies have not yet been repatriated and their loved ones are apparently being denied dignity in death.

Ms Fredriksz held up a photo of her son Bryce, 23, and his 20-year-old girlfriend Daisy as she pleaded for the return of their bodies.

"Twenty-three and 20 years old!" she said. "They're lying there on the floor somewhere. I don't know where they are.

"I want to arrange their funeral. I can't. I don't know where they are. I want them back. I want my children back."

Clenching their picture, she added: "Look at those people. How beautiful. They have to come back.

"Mr Putin - send my children home. Send them home. Please!" 

Across the Netherlands, memorial services are being held as families and communities try to come to terms with the loss of loved ones.

More than half the 298 people killed on the plane were Dutch, with six members from the same family from Neerkant, a small village in Noord-Brabant province.

The initial Dutch response to the jet horror was one of muted sadness.

But with reports from the crash site suggesting pro-Russian separatists tampered with evidence and removed some of the bodies, the mood has turned to anger.

Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans told Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko on Saturday that his country was "angry" and "furious" by reports of bodies being dragged around the site.

Many Dutch are pointing the finger of blame at Russia, either for its suspected support of the rebels or perhaps for firing the missile itself.

International pressure is growing on Russia for it to urge rebels in Ukraine to allow observers unrestricted access to the crash site.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte spoke on Saturday and said the European Union will have to "reconsider its approach to Russia in light of evidence that pro-Russian separatists brought down the plane."

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