Tragic death in forest of young Dagenham man who had struggled with depression

Irtaza Hussain was found dead in Chigwell on September 11. Picture: Facebook

Irtaza Hussain was found dead in Chigwell on September 11. Picture: Facebook - Credit: Archant

Friends of the young man who was found dead are paying tribute to a “sensitive and beautiful soul”.

Irtaza Hussain with Professor Richard Dawkins

Irtaza Hussain with Professor Richard Dawkins - Credit: Archant

Irtaza Hussain, 22, died after what friends said was long battle with depression, and was remembered this week by those who knew him as talkative, intelligent and passionate.

Mr Hussain was an active member of the secularist movement in London and often asked questions at public meetings and debates.

His friend Sufian Ahmed said: “Irtaza spoke very passionately about his love for science, music and his fight for a more secular society.”

Mr Hussain was also mourned by the head of the British Humanist Association, who called his death a tragedy.

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Police found his body in Hainault Forest opposite Lakeland Close shortly at around 4.20pm on Wednesday (September 11).

The death is not being treated as suspicious.

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Mr Hussain lived in Valence Avenue in Dagenham with his mother, father, and younger brother and sister, who told the Post they were distraught by his death.

His funeral was held on Friday 13 in Barkingside in Redbridge.

The Ex-Muslims Forum, which is run by people in London with Islamic backgrounds who are non-religious, said: “Our forum is a community and today we lost a friend. A very sensitive and beautiful soul took his life after battling depression. RIP Irtaza.”

Andrew Copson, chief executive of the British Humanist Association, said: “He was an intelligent and thoughtful young man who I was lucky to meet and speak with on many occasions, having first met him when we were on BBC together arguing for a liberal and secular approach to education as against a strict religious one.

“He was a keen attendee of BHA events and I am glad he had the joy of meeting a number of his heroes there, from Richard Dawkins to Jim Al-Khalili, Peter Atkins and Steven Pinker.”

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