Home Immigration News Bully who ‘waterboarded’ Syrian refugee at UK school to face court

Bully who ‘waterboarded’ Syrian refugee at UK school to face court

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Author: www.abc.net.au

A school bully who “waterboarded” a 15-year-old Syrian refugee student in an attack which was captured on video and sparked outrage is set to face court.

Footage of the incident, which was widely shared on social media, depicts 15-year-old refugee Jamal, whose arm is in a brace, being taunted by another student before he is wrestled to the ground at Almondbury Community School in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

Jamal’s attacker then grabs him by the neck, before emptying a bottle of water over his face and reportedly threatening to drown him.

In a statement, West Yorkshire Police said they had interviewed a 16-year-old boy over the alleged “racially-aggravated assault” and the suspect was now awaiting a court date.

A spokesman for Jamal and his family said he and his sister had been targeted by bullies at Almondbury Community School.

The spokesman said: “Last month he [Jamal] was set upon and assaulted so severely by four of the students in the school that his arm was fractured.

“Having had his arm placed in a cast, he returned to school, only within days to be set upon again by the same group of boys who this time strangled and waterboarded him whilst video recording the incident and sharing the same to add to and publicise his humiliation.

Tasnime Akunjee, a solicitor representing the family, told The Guardian Jamal’s 14-year-old daughter sister had been bullied by another group of students, with someone forcibly removed her hijab last week.

Police confirmed they were investigating an attack on another member of the family.

“On 28 November, after visiting the victim’s family, police were made aware of a second video, in which a young female from the same family was assaulted at school,” the statement said.

“Police re-visited the family and have begun to investigate a public order offence.”

Bully says he and victim ‘on good terms’

According to local reports, Jamal and his family fled Homs, Syria, after the city was laid under siege by the Syrian military.

In the wake of the incident, Jamal’s unnamed bully wrote a letter to The Sun Online, claiming the pair were in fact “on good terms”.

The handwritten statement read: “I fully accept responsibility for my actions, which I regret, but wish to make it clear I was not responsible for breaking [Jamal’s] arm, nor had I been bullying him over a period of time as has been reported.

“The incident was isolated and came about from an altercation between us earlier that day.

“The incident was not racial as up to that time we had been on good terms,” the 16-year-old claimed.

A fundraising appeal set up for Jamal and his family in the wake of the attacks has received almost $250,000 in donations.

The GoFundMe page says: “Having left a war-torn country, the least [Jamal] deserves is to live in peace without being harassed.

“Let’s change this horrible situation into a blessing in disguise for them.”

Family planning to leave area

Mr Akunjee told The Guardian the family would use the money to leave the area.

“They will be using this money to relocate from Huddersfield,” he said.

“They don’t want to live there any more. The level of abuse the children have received has become too much.

“They now need to take stock and get over the shock of it all. The children need to move on with this and get on with their lives.”

Taking to Twitter after the attack on Jamal, Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman described the video as “absolutely shocking”.
Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-30/syrian-refugee-jamal-bullied-at-school-attacker-to-face-court/10566202

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