Sheku funeral: Procession, peaceful protest & press conference

Sheku Bayoh.  A press conference held by Glasgow solicitor Aamer Anwar, Augustine United Church, Edinburgh, May 14, 2015, into the death in police custody of dad of two Sheku Bayoh in Kirkcaldy.  See CENTRE PRESS story CPCUSTODY.

Sheku Bayoh. A press conference held by Glasgow solicitor Aamer Anwar, Augustine United Church, Edinburgh, May 14, 2015, into the death in police custody of dad of two Sheku Bayoh in Kirkcaldy. See CENTRE PRESS story CPCUSTODY.

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More details have been revealed about the funeral of Sheku Bayoh in Kirkcaldy this weekend.

After a ceremony at the town’s mosque, the family and his lawyer, Aamer Anwar, will address a media conference at Templehall Community Centre.

Flowers laid in tribute to Sheku Bayoh who died in Kirkcaldy on Hayfield Road

Flowers laid in tribute to Sheku Bayoh who died in Kirkcaldy on Hayfield Road

They will be joined by the Sierra Leone High Commissioner, local politicians and trades unionists who will also speak.

The event is open to the public.

It will then be followed by a celebration of Sheku’s life.

Mr Bayoh died following an incident involving several officers last month which also saw a female officer injured. She is still off work recovering from her injuries.

Police at the scene of the Death on Hayfield road Kirkcaldy 4 May 15

Police at the scene of the Death on Hayfield road Kirkcaldy 4 May 15

Sheku was in police custody at the time, and what happened is now the result of an on-going investigation by the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (PIRC).

It has also sparked huge media interest, and a war of words between his family and their lawyer, and the Police Federation.

On Sunday Sheku’s funeral procession will begin at midday from Hayfield Road - where the incident took place - and then make its way to the police station in St Brycedale Road for a short stop which the family and organisers say will be dignified and peaceful.

It will then make its way to the Kirkcaldy Islamic Mosque in St Mary’s Road for prayers and then Sheku will be laid to rest at Dysart Cemetery.

A press release issued today stressed the procession would remain peaceful.

Of the stop outside the police station, it said the family would stand in silence in protest over what they say is a lack of response by officers to the independent investigation into his death - a claim the Police Federation has refuted.

The statement, attributed to Mr Anwar and tweeted by the Independencelive.net citizen broadcast channel, said: ‘‘The family are tired of having to fight for answers and deserve the truth.

‘‘There are those who claim this funeral cortege is inflammatory. it is nothing of the sort, and should any police officer or member of the public wish to cause trouble then they should stay away.

‘‘The Bayoh family want Sunday to be a peaceful and dignified farewell to their beloved Sheku’’

The funeral procession starts at midday, and is due at the police station at 12.20 p.m. before moving on to the mosque.

The procession to the cemetery is due to begin at 2.30 p.m., with the press conference - which is open to all - planned for 3.30 p.m.

A book of condolence will be opened and a service celebrating Sheku’s life will follow until early evening.

>> The Scottish Police Federation issued an unusually strongly worded statement during the week in which it criticised comments made by human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar.

It accused him of spreading “inaccurate and bizarre” rhetoric towards the organisation which represents Scotland’s officers.

The claim, by Brian Docherty, chairman of the federation, comes as police prepared to give statements to the independent inquiry.

Mr Docherty said: “Aamer Anwar can try to throw whatever mud he wishes but the fact remains that a petite female police officer was violently assaulted by a large male and believed she was going to die as a consequence.

“In directing increasingly hyperbolic, inaccurate and bizarre rhetoric at the Scottish Police Federation, one could be mistaken for believing that Mr Anwar being at the centre of attention appears to be of greater importance than allowing the investigation to proceed without interference.”

Mr Anwar has criticised police for failing to provide accounts of their actions to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC).

However, on Tuesday, Professor Peter Watson of PBW Law said: “The comments made by those representing the family of the deceased continue to promote a completely inaccurate and misleading account.

“The officer injured remains off work, has had several hospital visits, and is now in rehabilitation.

“An examination by a leading consultant confirms her injuries were significant.”

The injuries have been documented and photographed.

Professor Watson continued: “The officers involved have never refused to provide statements.

“It was agreed at the outset with PIRC that they would revert to us when they wanted statements and when they were clear on the basis that statements were to be given.

“PIRC emailed me this morning at 10.46 a.m. asking for our assistance to organise interviews and we answered at 11.29 a.m., confirming we would be pleased to assist.

“Those are the facts.”