Teenager to be charged over 'racially-charged attack' on 15-year-old Syrian refugee at Huddersfield school
Reports state that the United Nations assisted the Syrian refugee boy after his family was persecuted under Bashar al-Assad's regime
A teenager from a school in Huddersfield is set to be charged with assault after a video of him attacking and "waterboarding" a Syrian refugee schoolboy went viral on social media.
West Yorkshire police said that they were investigating a report of a "racially aggravated assault" against the 15-year-old boy, who came to the region two years ago.
Reports state that the United Nations assisted the Syrian refugee boy after his family was persecuted under Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime. The police officials, on Tuesday, confirmed that the boy was to be charged with assault, according to the Guardian. Both the students involved in the incident have not been officially identified yet.
The refugee was reportedly attacked over a month ago, however, the video of the incident came to light after social media users widely shared the clip overnight, expressing outrage. The incident reportedly occurred on October 25 in a playground at Almondbury community school in Huddersfield.
In the video, the perpetrator is seen approaching the victim in the school playground, taunting him before grabbing him by the neck and pushing him to the ground. He then empties a water bottle on his face before letting him go as other students are seen approaching the exchange.
A GoFundMe page was also set up for the boy and his family shortly after the video went viral and has reportedly received over £60,000 in donations in just a day.
Police investigate racial attack on boy at Huddersfield school https://t.co/ntiFArqvtx— The Guardian (@guardian) November 28, 2018
Mohammed Tahir, the person who set up the fundraising page, said: "After seeing the video I had an idea of setting up a GoFundMe page. I’m overwhelmed by the support that we’ve received and I can’t thank everyone enough for the generous donations they have made."
"I am working alongside GoFundMe so we can make sure every last penny gets to the family and I want to thank them for their support. I hope we can improve the quality of their life and put a smile on their faces. We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us," Tahir said.
The region's MP, Barry Sheerman, also expressed his support for the refugee boy and shared the video of the incident, calling it "absolutely shocking."
BBC News - Huddersfield school 'attack':Boy,16, to be charged https://t.co/zhsjhaZ1gF - Hope full extent of law is exercised! Saw this attack on Twitter earlier and felt sick. To see the poor lad walk away all alone haunts me. Hope it never happens to anyone else here for #Refuge— Iain Cameron (@Iaincameron5) November 28, 2018
"Understand from council that the school have taken strong action. Will be following up to ensure all available support is being given!” Sheerman said.
Reports state that the boy's family settled in the UK after their relatives were allegedly tortured and murdered by the Assad regime. The family, initially went to Lebanon and then was later provided a safe passage by the UN to Britain. Under the part of the UK government's official intake of refugees, the family re-settled in Huddersfield in 2016.
The headteacher of the Huddersfield school, Trevor Bowen, also released a statement, saying: "The safety and welfare of students is of paramount importance to us and this was a very serious incident. We are not able to comment further as we are supporting the police with their investigation but I want to be clear that we do not tolerate unacceptable behaviour of any sort in our school.”