The death of Shukri Yahya Abdi should have sparked resistance against the brutal bullying refugee children face at school

Whatever happened that day in the river, Abdi, and students like her, deserve more support. The UK needs to be much more proactive in tackling prejudice

Dahaba Ali Hussen
The Independent Voices


It’s understood that Abdi may have been with two other children when she tragically drowned, according to Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service ( MEN Media )


The death of Shukri Yahya Abdi, a 12-year-old Somali refugee shocked an entire community when news first emerged. Abdi, described by her mother as “a quiet” but “optimistic” girl, drowned in the River Irwell in Greater Manchester, according to Greater Manchester Police, who are not treating the case as suspicious.

Although this death was a tragic accident, it has sparked an important conversation about the lives of refugees in the UK. There are still a number of concerns surrounding the case – including the fact that Abdi’s family claim that the young refugee was being bullied at her school and believe they’re being “denied the truth” about the last weeks of her life.

Abdi’s family fled to the UK from Somalia more than two years ago for a better life. In a video posted on Twitter Zamzam Canab Ture, Abdi’s mother, said: “If the rights we came to the country for exist, I want something done”.

It’s worrying that Abdi’s alleged bullies were children themselves. No one is born a racist or a bully, these are learned behaviours, so there is every chance that these kids picked up their attitudes and behaviours from school or their community. It wouldn’t exactly be a surprise. As far as I’m concerned, rather than being treated with the respect all humans deserve, refugees are treated as second class citizens in this country.


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