Wail Qasim

From The Blog
19 April 2022

I don’t remember my parents bringing me to London as an infant asylum seeker, but I do know we arrived in relative safety by plane. There were risks in coming to Britain to flee war in Somalia, but physically crossing the border didn’t put our lives in danger. Last year, at least 44 people died trying to cross the English Channel in small boats to seek asylum in the UK. Boris Johnson’s recent announcement that the processing of asylum seekers will be outsourced to Rwanda promises to make the journey to safety yet more dangerous for those looking to gain refuge in Britain.

From The Blog
21 April 2021

Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd. A Minnesota jury yesterday found the former Minneapolis police officer guilty on three counts – second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter – for kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he suffocated and died on 25 May last year. In the days following Floyd’s death the world watched him gasp ‘I can’t breathe’ and knew, long before the jury was empanelled, that Chauvin had killed him, in public and in cold blood. That a jury found him criminally responsible may mark a historic moment for the United States. Such verdicts are vanishingly rare. In Britain, they are even rarer.

From The Blog
27 February 2017

Cressida Dick is replacing Bernard Hogan-Howe as the Metropolitan Police commissioner. She is the first woman to hold the post in its 200-year history, which has spurred hope that she will reform the Met in a period of uncertainty and strain. The budgetry perils the force faces are real: Hogan-Howe said recently that his successor’s biggest challenge would be ‘money’. But Dick has another problem too. She was the senior officer in charge during the 2005 operation in which Jean Charles de Menezes was killed. Firearms officers emptied eight rounds into the Brazilian electrician at Stockwell tube station after wrongly suspecting him to be a suicide bomber.

From The Blog
31 January 2017

My parents brought me to London when I was two years old, seeking refuge from Somalia’s civil war. To guarantee our safety they left behind a home, friends, family and much of what was familiar in the world. Their siblings were scattered. My grandmother and a few of her daughters found homes together in Canada. Some of my uncles came to the UK before we did. Other relatives went to the United States, settling in Minnesota where today a large Somali community thrives. Had my aunt and other Somali-Americans made that journey today they would have been barred from entering the US twice over – for being refugees and for coming from Somalia.

From The Blog
9 January 2017

Mohammed Yassar Yaqub, a 27-year-old man from Huddersfield, was killed last Monday during a ‘pre-planned policing operation’. Reports of his death suggest that the car Yaqub was travelling in on the M62 was ‘hard stopped’ by firearms officers: the police ambushed the car, boxing it in and immediately drawing their weapons. The few images of the scene which have circulated in the past week show several bullet holes in the car’s windscreen. How Yaqub died is pretty clear. To learn why will take some time.

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