Man found stabbed to death in South Gloucestershire was ‘close to getting refugee status’

close to getting refugee status

Sunday 1 January 2017, UK (Gazette) — FRIENDS of 31-year-old Mohammed Abdurezek, who was found stabbed to death in South Gloucestershire, say he was close to getting refugee status when he died.

A second appeal for information has been made by police after the body of the 31-year-old was found in undergrowth in the village of Siston by a dog walker on Christmas Eve.

DCI James Riccio, who is leading the investigation for Avon and Somerset Police, said that they believed Mr Abdurezek was not killed where he was found and that a team of officers were “working tirelessly” on the murder investigation.

He was living in Swansea until three to four weeks ago when he returned to Bristol to search for his daughter from a previous relationships, investigating officers said.

Sean O’Donoghue, of Hay, Brecon and Talgarth Refugee Support Group, said that “Mo” came to Bristol from Ethiopia as a child stowaway around 2002, and became a man “taken to heart” by many in the community.

He said Mr Abdurezek’s solicitor had just revealed that he could have embarked on his full application for refugee status after vital papers had arrived from the Home Office

A talented athlete, he had completed the Cardiff Half Marathon in a time of 1.37, crossing the line with his arms crossed above his head in homage to the symbol of the Oromo people’s quest for justice in Ethiopia.

Mr O’Donoghue said the 31-year-old had fled from the east African country after he witnessed his father being beaten up by security forces, and had been living as an asylum seeker for the past 14 years.

He said: “When I offered my condolences a few months back on the slaughter of up to a 100 of his people at a festival, he shrugged his shoulders and said that this kind of thing happens regularly but doesn’t get reported.

“He wanted to go back home and help in the fight for justice and independence for his people.”

He added that being devastated “understates” the feeling he got when news reached him on Boxing Day that his friend had died.

Talgarth county councillor William Powell said that during a respite day organised by Hay, Brecon and Talgarth City of Sanctuary back in July, Mr Abdurezek ended up playing for the opposing team during a football match because he was so keen to get on the pitch.

“Mo was highly competitive in sport, and on that occasion, ran onto the pitch, so eager was he to join the action,” he said.

“Talgarth Town were happy to incorporate his talent into their side for the remainder of the game.

“Mo’s evident sporting talent, turbulent early life and proud identity with the struggle of his own people meant that he was taken to heart by some people in my community who got to know him during the respite visits that he took part in.

“The news of his violent death has caused genuine shock amongst those who knew him. I very much hope that Avon and Somerset Police will be successful in bringing to justice those responsible for his murder.”

Following new information, police have begun their searches at a property St George’s House in Church Drive, St George, where it is believed that Mr Abdurezek had been living recently, with the searches expected to last for a few days.

DCI Riccio said: “We’re working with residents living in the premises and nearby to ensure any concerns they may have are addressed.

“While the investigation is progressing, we still need more information from the public.”

In their appeal to the public, police have asked for anyone to come forward who might have heard a disturbance or witnessed an assault within the vicinity of St George’s House between Tuesday, December 6 and Sunday, December 11.

They have also asked for anyone who has seen any suspicious or unusual activity in that area, or if they know anything about where Mohammed was working during his time in Bristol to get in touch.

Anyone who could help with police inquiries are asked to call the Major Crime Investigation Team on 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5216284767 or use the inquiry name Operation Neptune.


Three men arrested in connection with alleged murder of Mohammed Abdurezek in South Gloucestershire

January 3, 2017 (Gazette) —TWO men remain in custody for questioning in connection with the alleged murder of Mohammed Abdurezek, who was found stabbed to death in South Gloucestershire.

The body of the 31-year-old Ethiopian refugee was found in Gibbs Lane in Siston on Christmas Eve by a dog walker, with a post mortem confirming he had died from multiple stab wounds.

The men, aged 42 and 22, were two of three arrested on suspicion of murder, with the third man, aged 22, having been released on bail until February 15.

Search teams are continuing work at two properties in the St George area of Bristol, one in St George’s House, Church Drive, and the second in Craftes Court on Brook Road.

A car has also been seized and is undergoing a full forensic examination.

Police are continuing to appeal for information about Mohammed’s death or information about suspicious activity around the properties in St George, between Tuesday 6 December and Sunday 11 December.

Anyone with relevant information which could help inquiries area asked to call the Major Crime Investigation Team on 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5216284767, or use the inquiry name Operation Neptune.

Alternatively, information can be given anonymously to independent charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111 or visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org


Police discover body of man stabbed to death in South Gloucestershire village


26 Dec 2016 (gazette) — THE BODY of a man stabbed to death has been discovered in a small village in South Gloucestershire on Christmas Eve.

Police have appealed to the public’s health in tracing the movements of Mohammed Abdurezek in the time before his body was found on Gibbs Lane in the village of Siston at around 10.10am on Saturday.

A post-mortem examination found the 31-year-old died from stab wounds.

DCI James Riccio, from the Avon and Somerset major crime investigation team (MCIT), said: “A full investigation is being carried out into the circumstances of this tragic incident in which a man has lost his life.

“As part of our inquiry we’re releasing a photograph of Mr Abdurezek in the hope that someone may recognise him and recall having seen him during the past few days.

“While we’re at an early stage, we’re confident Mr Abdurezek was based in Bristol and had links to a number of other places across the UK, including Swansea and Newcastle.

“Did you know Mr Abdurezek? Do you know where he lived and who he lived with? If you did know him, when did you last see him?

“If you have any information which could help us, or saw or heard anything suspicious in Siston in the 48 hours before his body was discovered, please call us. Every piece of information is important.”

DCI Riccio added: “House-to-house enquiries have been carried out in the local area while specialist crime scene investigators have examined the location where his body was found.

“We’re aware this will have an impact on the wider community and would encourage anyone with concerns to contact their local neighbourhood team.”

Officers have asked for anyone who recognises Mohammed Abdurezek, and either remembers having seen him in the past few days, or has any information that could assist in their investigation, to call MCIT on 101 using the reference 5216284767.

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