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Shukri Abdi: Planned protests call for justice as petition passes million

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Police in the northern English city of Manchester have not pursued criminal charges after the death of the 12-year-old. Activists say she drowned as a result of bullying by classmates.
A year after a 12-year-old child died in a Manchester river, activists and family members are planning to hold worldwide demonstrations calling for a criminal inquiry.

Greater Manchester Police did not pursue criminal charges against four unnamed children who were accused of a role in Shukri Abdi’s death.

The child drowned in the River Irwell in the Manchester suburb of Bury after meeting the group of classmates outside of school.

An inquest into her death in February was adjourned but Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has promised a further investigation.

“We are committed to ensuring that the truth of what happened is clearly established in this case,” Burnham said.

One of the children, only identified as Child One, is alleged to have threatened to kill Abdi if she did not get into the water, but the child insisted that it was a joke.

The same child is also accused of laughing while Abdi struggled to stay above water as she died.

Two of the children who featured in the inquiry are said to have made an attempt to save Abdi but to no avail. They later alerted authorities about the danger she was in.

Abdi’s family and other classmates say that Abdi suffered from bullying at the hands of others in her school. It is unclear whether those accused of bullying her were with her on the day of her death.

Global support

A petition calling for full criminal inquiry and justice for Abdi has collected more than a million signatures globally.

Abdi’s family are originally from Somalia but spent the years between 2000 and 2017 in Kenya as refugees from the unrest in their homeland. They later moved to the UK.

Speaking about his niece’s death, Abdi’s uncle Mustaf Omar, said: “She was a sweet, innocent child. Her mum is absolutely destroyed.”

Protests will be held on Saturday 27th June in Manchester, London, Leicester, Cardiff, Sheffield, Birmingham, and Bristol. Each city has a large Somali diaspora community.

Abdi’s plight has received renewed attention within the context of the global protests against anti-Black racism.

Celebrities, such as Star Wars actor John Boyega and rapper Ice Cube have called for action over the 12-year-old’s death.


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