A statement from the Official Justice4Shukri campaign team (Maz Saleem, Shabnam Kulsoom, Abdul Aziz, Eva )
Earlier today, the Coroner released her verdict in the Inquest of Shukri Abdi. The verdict of ‘accidental death’, brings to a close a painful chapter for the family, one which has been made even more painful due to the failure of all the institutions that were meant to protect Shukri.
17 months ago, this campaign was created in the wake of the tragic death of our beloved young sister Shukri Abdi. Since then her mother Zamzam Arab Ture and her family have faced what can only be described as a never-ending nightmare as she demanded answers and the truth of her beloved daughter’s last moments on this earth.
This vulnerable refugee mother, whose daughter was taken from her in incredibly dubious circumstances, was left in limbo with unanswered questions and her own trauma to deal with all the while trying to support her other children come to terms with what had happened to their older sister.
Her family protected her the moment she stepped onto UK soil, but sadly those authorities who should have protected Shukri Abdi, categorically and without question, failed her. The facts are now firmly out there for the world to see that this was not merely a ‘tragic accident’.
This campaign was set up to protect and provide immediate support for the family, and to fight alongside the legal team to ensure that the truth of Shukri’s death was exposed, and to ensure that no family ever has to experience the obstacles this mother had to face to simply get to the truth surrounding the events that led to her beautiful child’s death. That was and has only ever been our objective. It was only through the determination and persistence of the family and this campaign that a deeper investigation was secured and only through widespread calls for action that we have got here today.
The investigation of Shukri Abdi’s death & subsequent investigations by the school, police and other local authorities have come to represent yet another example of the institutional racism riddled throughout this country.
Shukri’s family were failed by the school who failed in their duty of care to protect her despite being aware of the bullying she was facing, and after her death they treated the family so badly Zamzam felt the need to walk out of a meeting after a whitewashed report was put in front of them and Zamzam denied an interpreter.
Shukri’s family were failed by the police who did not investigate her death comprehensively, and throughout this period they have spoken down to Zamzam and her family. They have learned no lessons since the Macpherson report.
Shukri’s family were failed by the very institutions they were meant to trust – by the ones that were meant to protect them. If the school has taken Zamzam’s concerns seriously, we may never have had to be here today. Playground racism whether the SIkh Boy in Telford, Jamal the Syrian refugee in Huddersfield or even the tragedy of Ahmed Iqbal Ullah in Manchester all those years ago – schools have failed to learn any lessons and to protect our children.
This year has seen a increased light shone on racial injustice in this country, with millions across the world joining #BlackLivesMatter demonstrations and Shukri’s name rang out in cities across the globe to mark one year since her tragic death.
Shukri is no longer with us, but the underlying issues that led to this tragedy remain. Institutional racism, Islamophobia, the demonisation of refugees and migrants continues to this day. We ask everyone to carry forward the determination and strength Zamzam and her family have shown in the struggle against these injustices and this time when we demand action, we must persist because no family should ever have to go through this ever again.
It is with the support of those people who loved her, her community and all those who made sure her name was heard across the world that we declare this campaign has not ended – it will go on as we support the family as they come to terms with the end of the Inquest and continue on the long hard road to justice.
The struggle continues..
No Justice No Peace ✊🏾
Justice 4 Shukri