Campaigners hold meeting to draw attention to death of Shukri Abdi and voice concerns over police investigation

Shukri Abdi drowned in the River Irwell

Family and friends of a 12 year old Somalian refugee who drowned in a river have held a public meeting to draw attention to her death and voice concerns about the police investigation.

Shukri Abdi's body was pulled from the River Irwell on Thursday, June 27, after her mother had reported her missing.

Today, supporters of the Justice4Shukri campaign, which is comprised of activists and family members of the schoolgirl, held a press conference at the Jinnah Day Care Centre in Bury.

Her family believes she had been bullied at school. Bosses at Broad Oak Sports College are investigating that claim.

Greater Manchester Police is facing an independent inquiry into the way it investigated her death.

Shukri's loved ones say they do not believe her death was an accident and have questioned the police investigation from the get-go.

GMP have maintained there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the child's death.

This week the police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct, started its own investigation.

It will examine whether the officers 'prematurely concluded' Shruki's death wasn't suspicious and whether her family was treated less favourably because of their ethnic background.

The IOPC can decide to oversee an investigation by the force concerned, but on this occasion the watchdog has decided to conduct its own independent probe.

"We have met with Shukri Abdi’s family to offer our condolences and discuss this investigation, and we will provide them with regular updates as our work progresses. "The death of a child is so very difficult to comprehend, and I know this is felt across the local community and beyond. "I am aware that the circumstances of Shukri’s death is a concern to many, not least because there are many unanswered questions about how she came to be in the River Irwell that day. "That is a matter for Greater Manchester Police and the coroner. "Our role is to analyse what the police did and why. Our independent investigation is at a very early stage. "We treat complaints of this nature with the upmost seriousness, and I know GMP share the view that the IOPC has a responsibility to examine the actions of the force after Shukri was reported missing – not least for public confidence."

IOPC Regional Director Amanda Rowe

Shukri's body was recovered from the water at around midnight in a secluded stretch of the river close to Bury police station, near a new business estate.

Her mother, Zamzam Ture, said she had no idea why her daughter was in the water as she could not swim.

Emergency services were called to the scene just before 8pm and launched a search for the missing child.

The spot where she is believed to have entered the water is fast flowing and near a weir. In parts, the water is 20ft deep.