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Khuram Shaikh’s family distressed as death anniversary looms

The family of British tourist Khuram Shaikh, who was brutally murdered in Sri Lanka last Christmas, has spoken of their distress over the lack of progress in prosecuting those responsible for his killing.

Khuram Shaikh was killed while on holiday in the south of Sri Lanka, after getting into an altercation with a local group. His girlfriend was also attacked and is thought to have been raped by the men.

A politician of the ruling party is one of the eight suspects in the attack, however all were recently released on bail.

Speaking to The Guardian, Khuram’s brother Nasir said the situation was "disheartening, upsetting" and unacceptable.

"It should have been fast-tracked, and yet 12 months on, we're not at that stage [...] Something that was being pushed so quickly at the beginning is slowing down."

"He loved his job. It was a perfect match for his personality: he put other people before himself and he had a warm, loving heart," Nasir said.

"I remember he showed me a photograph of when he went to the Red Cross's headquarters in Geneva for his job interview. He said to me, 'Nass, you know what? One day that's where I'm going to be working.'"

Nasir says his family is dreading this Christmas and the anniversary of his brother’s death.

"Reliving that day itself is the bit I'm scared of. I've got a little girl who's four now. That's the bit I struggle with: as much as I keep a brave face, I break down when she asks about how Khuram is. She calls him chachoo, which is uncle in Urdu. When she says, 'I've not seen chachoo in ages', that just breaks my heart."

"It's just so sad," says Nasir. "I can go to work and think of Khuram on the way there and on the way back and in the evening. But my parents think and breathe it every day. I can see them continuing their daily routine of taking flowers and praying for the rest of their lives."

The family is continuing their fight for justice, including a Facebook campaign to raise awareness about the case.

The MP for the family, Simon Danczuk, has also spoken up and last week called on David Cameron to boycott next year’s CHOGM meeting to be held in Sri Lanka.

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