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Mouayed Bashir: Family of man who died after police restraint demand answers one year on

THE family of a man who died after being restrained by police led a remembrance rally in Newport, south Wales, at the weekend to mark the first anniversary of his death. 

Mouayed Bashir, 29, died in hospital on February 17 last year, hours after being restrained by officers from Gwent Police at his home in the Maesglas area of the town. 

That night, Mr Bashir had suffered an acute mental health episode. His family called 999, believing an ambulance would arrive, but instead police responded to the call. 

His parents said that the officers had handcuffed their son and bound him, reopening a three-week-old stab wound in Mr Bashir’s leg. He died hours later after being admitted to hospital. 

Speaking at the rally in the centre of Newport on Saturday, attended by over 100 supporters, Mr Bashir’s elder brother Mohamed questioned why the police had responded to the medical emergency. 

He said that the officers had restrained, handcuffed and strapped his brother to the floor, “watching him fit, watching him gasp for air.”

Mohamed asked: “Now, are police trained to do that? Would you let a nurse put out a fire? Would you let a fireman operate on someone’s brain?

“So why did the police think, right, that it was appropriate to deal with a mental health patient?”

Those taking part in the demo, led by Mr Bashir’s family, gathered at Newport railway station before marching through the town to the police station, where mourners lit candles with his brothers and parents in remembrance of the 29-year-old. 

Along the route, protesters held up portraits of Mr Bashir and chanted: “No justice, no peace, no racist police.” 

“The whole point of today is to remember our dear brother and friend Mouayed Bashir,” his brother Mohanned said, “a 29-year-old man who suffered with his mental health. 

“Sadly, the police couldn’t deal with this situation. But what we’re going to do today in a peaceful manner is remember him for what he was – the soul of the party, the person who would give the last money in his pocket.”

Outside the police station, the family told the crowd that they had only been shown the police bodycam footage the previous day. They said that they are still waiting for answers. 

The death is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct. An inquest is scheduled for July, following delays due to Covid-19. 

The death of Mr Bashir, whose parents moved to Britain from Sudan, came just weeks after Mohamud Hassan, 24, died after police attended his home in Cardiff (morningstaronline.co.uk/article/mohamud-hassan-family-demand-answers-one-year-his-death).

Their deaths, and other incidents, have led to scrutiny of the use of force on black people by police in Wales. 

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