BBC journalist Hanna Yusuf who wrote about wearing the hijab dies aged 27 

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BBC journalist Hanna Yusuf, who helped uncover Costa Coffee managers' refusal to pay employee sick leave, and defended wearing the hijab as a 'feminist statement', has died suddenly aged just 27.

Her family said they were shocked as well as 'deeply saddened and heartbroken' by the journalist's sudden death.

In a moving statement they added: 'You will always be remembered in our hearts and minds. May Allah forgive you and grant you Jannatul Firdous [a high place in heaven].'

The family said they hoped her legacy 'would serve as an inspiration' as colleagues paid tribute to 'one of the brightest journalists in the British-Somali community'.

Ms Yusuf wrote for the BBC News website, had worked as a TV news producer, and had previously written for the Guardian, the Independent and the Times.

Born in Somalia in 1992 she spoke six languages, including Somali and Arabic, and had worked with whistleblowers and victims of serious crime.

Last year she told the story of Zaynab Hussein, a mother of nine who moved to Leicester in 2003 after escaping violence and instability in Somalia, who was a victim of a hate crime that left her with life-changing injuries after she was repeatedly run over by a 21-year-old stranger in the street.

BBC journalist Hanna Yusuf, who helped uncover Costa Coffee managers' refusal to pay employee sick leave, and defended wearing the hijab as a 'feminist statement', has died suddenly aged just 27

BBC journalist Hanna Yusuf, who helped uncover Costa Coffee managers' refusal to pay employee sick leave, and defended wearing the hijab as a 'feminist statement', has died suddenly aged just 27

This year she revealed Costa Coffee working conditions including employees' complaints alleging managers' refusal to pay for sickness or annual leave, working outside of contracted hours and the retention of tips.

A Costa Coffee spokeswoman said an independent audit had been launched 'given the serious nature of the allegations'.

Before joining the BBC, Hanna wrote for publications including the Guardian, the Independent, the Times, the Muslim News, the Pool and Grazia Magazine, and started at the BBC as a researcher on the News at Six and Ten in May 2017, before moving to the BBC News Channel and News at One and the

In 2015, she created a video for the Guardian about her decision to wear the hijab at the time, saying 'it has nothing to do with oppression. It's a feminist statement', which was widely reported.

Appearing on Good Morning Britain after the European Court of Justice's 2017 ruling gave employers the power to ban all political, religious and philosophical symbols at work, she told TV presenters Piers Morgan and Susannah Reid it would 'disproportionately affect Muslim women'.

In 2015, she created a video for the Guardian about her decision to wear the hijab at the time, saying 'it has nothing to do with oppression. It's a feminist statement'

In 2015, she created a video for the Guardian about her decision to wear the hijab at the time, saying 'it has nothing to do with oppression. It's a feminist statement'

Yusuf family statement

Yusuf family statement

Hanna Yusuf's family said they were saddened and heartbroken by her sudden death

'Saddened and heartbroken': Yusuf family statement

We are deeply saddened and heartbroken by the passing of our beloved daughter, sister and niece, Hanna Yusaf. Indeed, to God we belong, and unto Him we shall return.

Hanna's passing was sudden and unexpected and has come as a shock to us all. We kindly ask that our privacy is respected at this tragic time as we come to terms with our loss.

We are grateful to everyone that has reached out to us with their kindness, love, compassion, and support.

Hanna was a dedicated young vibrant professional who became a bridge between the media and the community, helping break boundaries in providing a voice and representation.

Many will know Hanna for her incredible contributions to journalism and for her work at the BBC. While we mourn her loss, we hope that Hanna's legacy will serve as an inspiration and beacon to her fellow colleagues and to her community and her meaningful memory and the people she has touched for many years lives on.

We will notify the community about funeral arrangements in due course.

Hanna, we love you and will forever miss you. You will always be remembered in our hearts and minds. May Allah forgive you and grant you Jannatul Firdous. Insha'Allah (God willing), we will all be reunited in a batter place.

With salam and love,

The Yusuf Family

Born in Somalia in 1992, Ms Yusuf grew up in the Netherlands, and received a Scott Trust bursary to do an MA in newspaper journalism at City, University of London in 2017, following her degree at Queen Mary, University of London.

In a statement, Hanna's family said the death of their 'beloved daughter, sister and niece' had come as a shock and asked for privacy.

'Many will know Hanna for her incredible contributions to journalism and for her work at the BBC.

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'While we mourn her loss, we hope that Hanna's legacy will serve as an inspiration and beacon to her fellow colleagues and to her community and her meaningful memory and the people she has touched for many years lives on,' they said.

Director of BBC News Fran Unsworth said: 'This is terrible news that has left us all deeply saddened. Hanna Yusuf was a talented young journalist who was widely admired across the BBC and our utmost

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