Two men to be charged over refugee's death

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Indy Politics

Abdi Dorre, an asylum-seeker from Somalia, died two years ago today, after falling down 16 concrete steps in a nightclub.

Abdi Dorre, an asylum-seeker from Somalia, died two years ago today, after falling down 16 concrete steps in a nightclub.

Despite evidence to suggest Mr Dorre might have been pushed down the stairs – he had been captured on CCTV arguing with two bouncers moments before he died – nobody has been charged with the killing.

Until now. Later this month, two men will appear before magistrates where they will be charged with manslaughter in connection with Mr Dorre's death. His family, after a relentless campaign first highlighted by The Independent on Sunday, believes it may finally see British justice done after two years of frustration.

Initially, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) refused to bring charges, telling Mr Dorre's family as long ago as October 2000 there was "insufficient evidence" to mount a prosecution. Relatives, convinced the investigation into Mr Dorre's death had been given a low priority because of his status as a refugee, were undeterred. After pressure from Mr Dorre's family and a series of demonstrations in Northampton, the CPS decided in February to take a second look at the case. That decision coincided with a lengthy article published in The Independent on Sunday.

Last week, the CPS announced charges were now being brought against two men, after taking advice from a senior independent barrister outside the Northamptonshire branch of the CPS.

Dan Rubinstein, the family's solicitor, who battled to get the case looked at again, said: "It has only been pressure from the family and their campaign that has achieved this result. I think the fact that Abdi was a Somali refugee perhaps meant to the authorities that his death didn't matter so much."

Mr Dorre, 31, had been in the UK only six months before his death at the Lounge nightclub. The two bouncers allegedly involved in the incident stopped working there soon after.

Quorshe Maxamed, Mr Dorre's sister, has co-ordinated the campaign for justice, organising demonstrations and bringing in Mr Rubinstein, a lawyer with Imran Khan & Partners, the law firm that represents the parents of Stephen Lawrence. Ms Maxamed, an asylum-seeker living in Milton Keynes, said: "At least now there may be justice. We just feel very, very sad – the way he died and the way the police have treated us."

Another sister, Deqa Dorre, who lives in Canada, told the IoS: "This has been a nightmare and an emotional rollercoaster. Now I just want to see justice done, but it is not over yet and there is a long way to go."

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