Rebecca Dykes: Who was the British diplomat found dead in Lebanon?

Rebecca Dykes: Who was the British diplomat found dead in Lebanon?

Rebecca Dykes' body was found on a road (Stock image)

Monday, December 18, 2017

As more details emerge about the murder of Rebecca Dykes, a picture is building of a talented young diplomat whose life was cut short in the most horrific circumstances.

Dykes was discovered dead at the side of a road near Beirut. It is believed that she was strangled and local reports claim she may have been sexually assaulted.

Police have said they do not think the attack was politically motivated. It is thought it took place after she left a bar in Beirut where colleagues were saying goodbye to a staff member who was leaving.

She was supposed to by flying home for Christmas on the same day that she died (December 16).

A taxi driver has now been arrested over the death and Lebanese news agency NNA claims he drove the woman to the area she lived, but did not take her home. It is alleged that he was later seen on CCTV dumping her body.

But who was the British diplomat? Many details are still emerging but this is what we know so far.

It is believed that Dykes grew up in Hong Kong and later went to a girls boarding school in Worcestershire called Malvern St James. Reports also suggest she attended an international school in China.

At the University of Manchester the woman studied anthropology and after this chose to study in London. She went to Birkbeck, University of London and studied international security and global governance.

The 30-year-old could reportedly speak Mandarin as well as three other languages.

Dykes was in Beirut, Lebanon working as a programme and policy manager for the Department for International Development. She had only been in the role since January.

However she had worked in the department since 2014 and previously worked for the Foreign Office, both as a policy manager for Libya and a research analyst for Iraq.

Her LinkedIn page also claims she was a part of the UK Government's conflict, stability and security fund programme.

Friends of the diplomat have described her as "bright." One who knew her told The Telegraph “she hadn’t been in Beirut for long, she was just finding her feet. I can’t believe it."

Her family have also released a statement, saying: "We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Rebecca. We are doing all we can to understand what happened.

"We request that the media respect our privacy as we come together as a family at this very difficult time."