Sheffield student killed in Malaysia plane crash

Tessa van der Sande, who studied in Sheffield and was killed last week
Tessa van der Sande, who studied in Sheffield and was killed last week
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A victim of the horrific Malaysian plane crash which shocked the world used to live in Sheffield, The Star has learned.

Tessa van der Sande was on her way to a family holiday in Indonesia when flight Malaysia Airlines MH17 was shot down over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board, last week.

The 27-year-old Dutch national had completed a joint masters degree in international law at The University of Sheffield in 2010, and also worked there for five months while researching terrorism and the rule of law.

She was working for Amnesty International as a programme officer when she died.

Dr Paul James Cardwell, deputy head of the university’s School of Law, said: “We are saddened to learn of the death of Tessa van der Sande, a former student here in the School of Law.

“Tessa was an academically gifted student and was highly thought of by both staff and students.

“We are proud of what she achieved in her career with Amnesty International in her home country of the Netherlands.

“Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with Tessa’s family and friends, and with all those who have lost family and friends in the Malaysia Airlines crash.”

Tessa, who previously worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands and in South Sudan, was involved with the implementation of Amnesty programmes on human rights education in Sierra Leone and Uganda.

A tribute from Amnesty International said: “Our dear colleague Tessa van der Sande was one of the occupants of the Malaysia Airlines plane. She was with her brother and parents on their way to Indonesia for a family vacation.

“Tessa was a talented and promising human rights expert who was known for her commitment, her kindness and her wonderful sense of humour. We are shocked and sad because of this loss.”

Pro Russian rebels have been widely accused of shooting down the plane.