Syrian refugee attacked in viral video thanks supporters

Home UK Syrian refugee attacked in viral video thanks supporters
Syrian refugee attacked in viral video thanks supporters

A 15-year-old Syrian refugee who was filmed being attacked by bullies has thanked supporters at his school in Huddersfield.

The boy, who has been named as Jamal, met a group of around 30 concerned people outside Almondbury Community School on Thursday.

The teenager told supporters "thanks for everything" before leaving with his father. The group held an hour-long meeting with headteacher Trevor Bowen to address concerns.

Imam Mohammed Pandor, one of those among the group, said the meeting was "very productive".

He said: "Clearly when someone comes from Syria, fleeing Assad's regime, coming to a place like this, when you get treated that way, that's an issue. And the whole world is looking at us.

"We can't accept this type of behaviour whether the victim is Muslim or non-Muslim. It really doesn't matter."

Video: Moment boy attacked Syrian refugee at school

Footage of the attack – in which Jamal is thrown to the ground by his neck, kicked and has water poured over his face as he is threatened with drowning – was widely shared online.

Outrage over the assault saw an online appeal set up to help his family, which raised more than £130,000 in 24 hours.

In an ITV interview the boy said he did not feel safe at school and has been left traumatised and frightened by the attack.

He said: "I woke up at night and just started crying about this problem. They think I'm different – different from them.

"I don't feel safe at school. Sometimes I say to my dad, 'I don't want to go to school anymore'. I was just crying and I didn't do nothing because I respect the school rules."

The boy's sister was also filmed being attacked on Tuesday, in a video that showed other students attempting to pull her hijab off.

Both teenagers have said they will no longer attend the school in Huddersfield and have said they are looking into what to do next.

But they said they are concerned over threats on social media towards the boy who allegedly assaulted Jamal, saying: "I don't want anything terrible to happen to him at all. I just don't want anything bad to happen to anyone."

A 16-year-old boy has been interviewed over the attack, and reported for summons for an offence of assault ahead of a youth court appearance.

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West Yorkshire Police said another "unconnected" incident took place on 7 October in which Jamal was left with a wrist injury.

Three children were interviewed but officers allowed the matter to be dealt with by the school.

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