Over 100 members of Leicester’s Somalian community were protesting outside City Hall today.
They had gathered there to petition against a family dispute with Leicester City Council in regards to a child custody matter.
Mr and Mrs Mohammed Said’s children were removed from the family earlier this year and the community has been rallying around them to help support their cause.
“We are sad that the children have been placed with total strangers who in terms of religion, cultural background first language, share nothing with the children. It compromises on the belief and faith not only of the family concerned, but the entire Muslim community,” said the event organiser, Mr Sahel Yusef Ali.
During the protest, people were chanting the word ‘justice’ outside the building and young children and women were holding protest signs and banners asking for support from the council.
Mr Yuself Ali went on to say that there have been reports that the children have been eating non-halal food which he sees as an insult to the whole community:
“I think they have not acted in accordance with the Children’s Act which requires that the children should not be placed in a different religious position than they actually had.
The other thing we are angry about is that the extended family, who have put themselves forward as potential carers for the children until the matters is resolved in the court of law, have been ignored.”
He stressed that the Said family want the children to be placed back with them or at least with other carers within the community who are ready and willing to look after them in the way the children are familiar with.
We have contacted Leicester City Council and are awaiting their response.