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Tortoise Media’s new offices in Berners Street, London. 13/9/20. Photo Tom Pilston.
This week in Tortoise: Shukri Abdi

This week in Tortoise: Shukri Abdi

Tortoise Media’s new offices in Berners Street, London. 13/9/20. Photo Tom Pilston.

On 27 June 2019, Shukri Abdi drowned in the River Irwell in Bury, near Manchester, England. She was 12 years old. A refugee from Somalia.

What happened? At the end of the inquest last December, it was judged that this was, most likely, a tragic accident. But other narratives had already taken hold months before then, even in the hours after Shukri’s death. Those narratives would have it that something unlawful happened. They were shaped by mistrust of the police and other authorities. They were vigorously taken up by campaigners. And they linger still.

This week’s Tortoise Story is The cause: what happened to Shukri Abdi?

Nimo Omer, a Tortoise reporter who has been following her case for more than a year, joins Basia Cummings for today’s episode of the Slow Newscast. They reveal what can happen when the search for truth and the search for justice go in different directions, when a case gets overlaid with a cause, and who gets harmed in the process. There’ll be more tomorrow in Nimo’s long-read.

Last week, we launched the weekly Tech Nations Sensemaker, which reports on the world’s largest tech companies like countries. Our weekly Creative Sensemaker offers Tortoise’s pick of the best in film & TV, music, books and the arts, as well as a lens on where culture meets the politics of identity and belonging. This week, we are starting the weekly Net Zero Sensemaker, a regular reality check on tackling the climate emergency. And, of course, you can read the daily Sensemaker as an email or in the app; likewise, listen to the daily Sensemaker audio in the app or on all podcast platforms. Do choose which interest you most – and, as ever, let us know what you think.

After yesterday’s bank holiday, it’s a shorter week of ThinkIns, but those ThinkIns will grapple with some pretty big questions:

And one other thing: we’ll be holding our Open News meeting on Tuesday at 1pm as usual, but we’re going to see how it works on Twitter Spaces.  Join us if you can.


James Harding,
Editor & co-founder