Six arrested following savage attack on teenage asylum-seeker
ANTI-RACISTS held an urgent “refugees welcome here” vigil yesterday following a vicious unprovoked gang attack on a teenage asylum-seeker.
Six people have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and violent disorder after the “savage attack” on a suburban street left the 17-year-old fighting for his life.
The teenager, a Kurdish Iranian, was waiting at a bus stop with two friends outside The Goat pub in Croydon, south London, at 11.40pm on Friday when a gang of up to 10 approached them.
They attacked the teen when they found out he was an asylum-seeker, knocking him to the ground and beating him mercilessly.
Nearby residents said that a crowd of around 20 looked on as the mob punched and kicked the victim so badly he was left with a fractured skull and a blood clot to the brain.
The beating stopped only when police sirens were heard approaching.
His two friends escaped with minor injuries, however the teenager remains in hospital in a serious but stable condition.
Stand Up to Racism called the emergency vigil at Croydon’s Centrale Shopping Centre from 2pm yesterday in response to the horrific attack.
And condemnation of the attack poured in from across political party lines yesterday.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “Absolutely shocked at attack on young Kurdish asylum-seeker, who came here searching for safety. I fervently hope he makes a full recovery.”
Shadow home secretary Dianne Abbott said: “Sadly this is not an isolated incident, but part of a sustained increase in hate crimes that this Tory government is yet to offer any effective response to.
“With right-wing politicians across the world scapegoating migrants, refugees and others for their economic problems, we are seeing a deeply worrying rise in the politics of hate.
Weyman Bennett of Unite Against Fascism, which co-organised yesterday’s vigil, said: “An atmosphere of hatred and intolerance has been built up against refugees and we believe this attack reflects that.
“We must unite and give solidarity to the victim and we must demonstrate our disgust at vicious, racist attacks and those who carry them out.
“We are staging today’s vigil in response to this vicious attack, and will be demonstrating in Croydon on Saturday.”
A spokesperson for anti-racism campaign group Hope Not Hate said: “It is time to stand together, and stand firm, against those who would wish to target the vulnerable and minorities in our society.”
Housing Minister Gavin Barwell, MP for Croydon Central, described the attackers as “scum.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “Hate crime has no place in London, Britain or anywhere else.
“Our communities will not be divided by those who seek to sow hate.”
Refugee Council advocacy director Dr Lisa Doyle said: “We hope the perpetrators of this appalling attack are swiftly brought to justice and we wish the victim a full and speedy recovery.”
The six arrested were three 20-year-old men, a 20-year-old woman and a man and woman both aged 24.
An anti-racism demonstration will be staged in Croydon at 2pm on Saturday April 8.