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Demonstrators march and demand justice for Somalian refugee, 12, who drowned

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Shukri Yahya Abdi drowned in the River Irwell in Bury, Greater Manchester, in June last year.

Demonstrators gathered in London demanding "justice" for a 12-year-old Somalian refugee who drowned last year (Yui Mok/PA)

Demonstrators have gathered in London to demand “justice” for a 12-year-old Somalian refugee who drowned exactly one year ago.

A huge crowd descended on capital on Saturday, in memory of Shukri Yahya Abdi who drowned in the River Irwell in Bury, Greater Manchester, on June 27 last year.

People with fists raised in the air carried a “Justice for Shukri” banner, and some wore T-shirts displaying the child’s name.

Protesters demanded
Protesters demanded ‘justice for Shukri’ as they gathered in London (Yui Mok/PA)

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.

Crowds descended on Whitehall in a demonstration on the first anniversary of the death of Somalian child refugee Shukri Abdi (Yui Mok/PA)
Crowds descended on Whitehall in a demonstration on the first anniversary of the death of Somalian child refugee Shukri Abdi (Yui Mok/PA)

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In a statement, IOPC regional director Amanda Rowe said the complaints had been treated with the “upmost seriousness and very carefully assessed”.

She said: “Our final report has been shared with the force, and with Shukri’s family. It has also been provided to the Coroner to help support the inquest process.

“We plan to publish our report following Shukri’s inquest, a date for which has not been set at this time. Our thoughts remain with all those affected by her tragic death.”

Shukri, who came to the UK from Somalia, was described by relatives as a “sweet, innocent child”.

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She was reported missing by her mother just after 7.30pm on June 27, 2019 and a short time later police received a separate report that a girl had gone into the River Irwell and had not resurfaced.

Underwater search teams later recovered her body from the river.

Following her death, police said there were no suspicious circumstances and warned people of the dangers of swimming in rivers, lakes and reservoirs in hot weather.

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