A highly disturbing video, which emerged on social media showing a 15-year-old Syrian refugee being aggressively thrown to the ground and ‘waterboarded’ by another schoolboy, has sparked outrage.
The footage seems to show a schoolboy in a blue jumper walking up to the victim, who has one arm in a plaster cast, shouting racial slurs at the Syrian refugee, before grabbing him by the neck and sending him to the ground. The bully then pours water all over his face as he keeps him pinned down by his neck – shouting “I’ll drown you.”
The harrowing clip, which has gone viral, was posted on social media by Mohammed Khan, who was dismayed that anybody could commit such a shocking act on the 15-year-old refugee, whose name is said to be Jamal, according to the Huddersfield Examiner.
Police say they have launched an investigation into an allegation of racist bullying after a huge backlash to the mobile phone footage. The incident is thought to have taken place on the playing fields of a school in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, in October.
Huddersfield’s Labour MP Barry Sheerman has taken to social media to voice his horror, saying he had been supporting the teenager’s family. He tweeted: “Video of assault against one of my constituents absolutely shocking. Have been supporting the family since it was first brought to my attention.”
Video of assault against one of my constituents absolutely shocking. Have been supporting the family since it was first brought to my attention. Understand from council that the school have taken strong action. Will be following up to ensure all available support is being given!
— Barry Sheerman (@BarrySheerman) November 27, 2018
Absolute disgrace – Please retweet.
This bully, his parents, the school where this occurs and the onlookers who fail to step in, all have big questions to answer.
To the Syrian refugee – I say sorry. It’s not the welcoming, friendly Britain we are supposed to be. pic.twitter.com/AHbGbbyY79
— Tobias Ellwood (@Tobias_Ellwood) November 27, 2018
Others such as Islamic educator, Qasim Rashid, claim that racist attacks such as these are the direct consequence of the media and politicians demonizing marginalized groups, such as refugees.
British kids beating up Jamal—a Syrian refugee kid w/a broken arm
•This is Huddersfield UK
•Jamal’s family literally escaped torture & certain death…for this?
•When media & politicians demonize marginalized communities—like refugees—this is one resultpic.twitter.com/B2XX6nfRTO
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@MuslimIQ) November 27, 2018
Theresa May makes ending freedom of movement the key part of her ‘deal’. She mentions it first in every speech, every press release, every video.
A young Syrian refugee is beaten and bullied in Yorkshire.
These two stories are not unconnected. At all.
— Paul Bernal (@PaulbernalUK) November 28, 2018
Superintendent Steve Dodds, of West Yorkshire Police Kirklees District, said: “We are investigating a report of a racially-aggravated assault of a 15-year-old boy which occurred on playing fields at Almondbury Community School at about 1pm on October 25.
“A 16-year-old boy has been interviewed by voluntary attendance in connection with the incident and we are continuing to progress the investigation.”
Within hours of the video being shared, a fundraising page for Jamal was launched which has so far raised tens of thousands of pounds for the Syrian refugee.
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