The Somali community in the Woolwich area is in deep shock after the death of a 22-year-old Somali, Nuur Saeed, after an ‘operation’ by Woolwich police.
The police say that on 10 January Nuur was in a house at which they executed a search warrant in Plumstead. ‘At 5pm Mr Saeed was found to be suffering from head injuries on the ground below the balcony of the second floor premises’, according to a police statement. He was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital by ambulance and later transferred to Kings College Hospital where he died on 24 January from complications arising from massive brain injury.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (the organisation which investigates deaths in police custody) is now conducting an independent investigation into the death that is being overseen by the IPPC’s deputy chair John Wadham.
Although the facts of Nuur’s death have yet to be established, local community members allege a recent state of siege in which the police have been harassing young Somali men following the murder in Bradford of PC Beshenivsky. (Her alleged attackers are of Somali origin and from the Woolwich area.)
Asad Hussain of the Justice for Nuur campaign told IRR News: ‘Nuur was a normal, straight young boy. His home was raided by police officers from Plumstead police station and he was taken unconscious from his home. How could such a tragedy happen? The police clam that they had no physical contact but we need to know what took place.’
The Justice for Nuur campaign is demanding:
- An independent inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Nuur’s death to establish the exact events of 10 January
- No police cover-up
- Police officers involved be suspended from duty
- An immediate and independent investigation into Woolwich police’s harassment of young men, especially those from the Somali community
The family and friends of Nuur Saeed will be holding a picket of Plumstead police station on 4 February 2006.