27 June 2020 20:34
Her family and peers said that she was bullied and faced racist abuse by some of her classmates. Holding placards emblazoned with "Justice for Shukri Abdi" and "Black Lives Matter," a diverse crowd marched through London on Saturday demanding a new investigation into Abdi's death. Zamzam Ibrahim, one of the organisers of the protests, said thousands attended the demonstrations because they could personally identify with Abdi's plight. "We have seen Shukri's name appear on placards across the world because so many black girls have felt the impact of bullying and abuse at an age where they should have the freedom to grow up safely and happily," said Ibrahim, who served as the former president of the National Union of Students in the UK. Abdi's case gained global attention as part of the Black Lives Matter movement, with a petition calling for a new investigation into Abdi's death reaching a million signatures.
Abdi's family lived for 17 years as refugees in Kenya after fleeing the unrest in Somalia, before being resettled by the United Nations to the UK. Hundreds of people have attended a march marking the first anniversary of the tragic death of a schoolgirl. Shukri Abdi was just 12 years old when she drowned in the River Irwell in Bury on June 27 last year. Loved ones questioned the police investigation into her death, prompting a campaign calling for a probe into bullying at Broad Oak Sports College where she was a pupil. Since then, more than a million people have signed a petition demanding a criminal investigation be opened into the circumstances surrounding her death.
This month, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said it had completed an investigation launched last August into whether police treated the family "less favourably" because of their ethnic background. The IOPC said its investigation had been prompted after a complaint about police actions following her death. The results of the probe have been shared with Shukri's family and Greater Manchester Police, and will be published after the inquest into the child's death, the watchdog said. There have been allegations of bullying at the school she attended - Broad Oak College Hazel Wood High - with some believing the circumstances of her death have not been fully established. We have to make sure that justice is served for Shukri Abdi! A Bury Council spokesman said: "The purpose of a coroner's investigation is to ascertain how, when, in what circumstances and where the deceased came by their death. "The council believes the coroner's judicial investigation is the best way to ensure justice for Shukri, and to give proper weight and consideration to the circumstances leading up to her death." Today marks a year since the day Shukri Abdi's body was found in the River Irwell in Bury. Demonstrations have been organised in cities across the world including London and Liverpool, all the way to Los Angeles and Toronto to support the family in their pursuit of justice. Shukri, a 12-year-old Somali girl, arrived in the UK in January 2017 as part of the UN's vulnerable persons resettlement scheme in which only the most vulnerable individuals and families are accepted. Arriving with her four siblings, her family were placed in Bury, a town in Greater Manchester with no sizeable Somali community despite other areas like Moss Side having existing organisations and community infrastructure which would have supported their transition to the UK. Shukri's family have repeatedly raised the issue of bullying, saying it was out of character for her to play anywhere near the water because she could not swim. An internal investigation by Shukri's school is said to have found they "were not aware" of any bullying and a police detective told an inquest that he believed no bullying or coercion took place. The inquest into her death has been adjourned with no date confirmed to resume, but the incident itself has sparked other discussions about prejudice in this country's schools. Stories of bullying like these are all too common among young black girls. Discussions around Black Lives Matter that we're currently having in the UK have shown us how far we have to go. After all, it was in 1986 that 13-year-old student Ahmed Iqbal Ullah was stabbed to death in his school playground in Burnage in Manchester. Details have emerged which point to issues with bullying, which Shukri's mother Zamzam had complained about repeatedly, even asking the school to keep her behind at the end of the school day until she could pick her daughter up. Following Shukri's death, the school agreed to an internal report looking at these claims, with Shukri's family saying none of the family members, nor other parents who had previously complained about bullying at the school, were interviewed. Instead, Shukri's family were invited to discuss the internal report from the school at Bury police station, but because of the refusal to provide Shurki's mother with an interpreter, they had no choice but to leave the station in protest, with Zamzam in tears. Stunning aerial shots show global Black Lives Matter crowds on 6 June Show all 21 left Created with Sketch. The march, which will be held on 31 October this year, is held by those who have lost their loved ones through deaths in police, prison and psychiatric contact.