THE brother of a man who died almost a year ago after being restrained by police has released a tribute to him through a powerful song.

Mohannad Bashir has been leading a campaign for justice after his brother Mouayed died at home while in police restraint on February 17, 2021.

Mouayed Bashir's death prompted a wave of anger, including a demonstration outside Newport police station the day after he died. The Independent Office for Police Conduct is currently investigating the circumstances around his death, and an inquest has been opened and adjourned.

Mohannad Bashir, who has been tireless in his campaign for justice following the loss of his brother. And now, Mr Bashir, who is the bass player in hardcore punk band Torchbearer, has penned a song expressing his anger to be included on the band's debut album Solace, which will be released on Friday, January 21.

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The song, Never Forgive, is a collaborative effort which was started by guitarist/vocalist Ollie Gould, and has been described by producer Charlie Wilson as "the best work they have done on the album".

Reflecting on the day of his brother's death, Mr Bashir said: “I was living in London with my best friend Ollie and when I heard the news, I packed my bags and moved back to Newport to be with my family and support them through these difficult times.

“I didn’t have my bass with me and when I was on the train from London to Newport, I could see the news popping up and I started to write down my feelings and how I felt. I had taken creative writing classes while at Nash College but the rest of the band didn’t know about this.

“It started to come back as I was writing. When I found out more, everyone in the band found out what was happening and Ollie sent me an MP3 track of an early version of Never Forgive’s riff and I listened to it over and over again. He asked what I thought, and I said I loved it.

“Ollie isn’t the type to shed a tear in front of anyone but all the emotions came through in the music.”

The band discussed creating the song in tribute to Mouayed and Mr Bashir told them of what he had written.

“They said about me writing the lyrics but that’s not what I do, that’s the job of the frontman. So, I sent Andy (Mansell, vocalist) the wall of text I’d written and he went through it line by line and was inspired by the line ‘This is a new world order, always look over your shoulder because you could be next'.”

When the quartet came together to record the track, Mr Bashir was asked to go into the booth to record vocals for the line "All the pain and the suffering you try to hide, how many lives must we sacrifice, what will it take for justice".

Never Forgive is a hardcore track talking about police brutality, with a video montage of Black Lives Matters protests held in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

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“The producer was tearing up a bit so I knew we definitely did a good track,” said Mr Bashir.

When the band first heard a rough mix of Never Forgive, Mr Bashir felt extreme emotions.

“During the process of recording it, I could feel everyone giving it 110 per cent," he said. "It seemed more powerful and better than what we expected.

“We sat down with a couple beers and it sounded very powerful. I choked up a little bit. For the duration of the recording I was being professional and trying not to mess anything up and I was crying my eyes out because one, we finished recording an album for the first time and two we had finished the tribute to my brother.”

 

“What happened to my brother is shocking and sad that this kind of stuff is happening here in our times. The most scary stuff is that it is happening in the UK on our shores where people usually see it only happening in the US and its worse because it happened in the family home.

“I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy because it is horrible. It flipped my world upside down.

“When George Floyd was killed, I remember Mouayed saying thank god this doesn’t happen here and that was in May 2020. Flash forward to February 2021 and it was Mouayed.

“It’s not just young black men who die under the hands of the police, for example, Sarah Everard, which is why I said ‘it could be anyone.’”

Mr Bashir hopes that people who listen to the track and the Torchbearer album will understand that they are not alone with their worries.

He also expressed his thanks to family and friends, Monolith Studios, Jake Rees and Paul McMillan who helped with the video for Never Forgive and the fans.

He also urged the campaigners and activists to keep going and keep fighting.

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The inquest into the death of Mouayed Bashir is expected to take place between July 11-15.

A spokesman for the Independent Office for Police Conduct said: “Our thorough, independent investigation into the death of Mouayed Bashir is near conclusion with an investigation report now being finalised.

"We have reviewed a range of evidence gathered including detailed accounts from the officers involved, accounts from family members, police body worn video, radio transmissions and call logs.

"We have continued to update Mr Bashir’s family, the Coroner and Gwent Police throughout the course of the investigation. The timing of publication of our conclusions will depend on future discussion with the Coroner.”

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