A teenage Kurdish-Iranian refugee was severely beaten by a mob of other youths in Croydon, in the UK.
The mayor of London has denounced the attack, and six suspects are under arrest. Croydon is a borough of London.
The attack on the asylum seeker comes as tensions run high following the London terror attack on UK Parliament, which ISIS claimed responsibility for perpetrating.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. A Group of People Confronted the Teenager at a Bus Stop
According to the Globe and Mail, eight people – most of them in their 20s – went up to a 17-year-old Kurdish refugee at a bus stop.
“Upon learning he was an asylum-seeker, they chased him through the streets and beat him,” the newspaper reported.
Four men and two women, in their 20s, are under arrest in the attack, according to The Telegraph. However, neighbors told British media more people were involved.
Those arrested are being held on accusations of attempted murder and violent disorder, the Guardian reported.
2. The Teenager Suffered Severe Head Injuries
BBC reported that the teen suffered a blood clot to the brain as well as a fractured skull.
He was repeatedly kicked as he lay on the ground, the network reported. The teenager is in serious but stable condition, according to The Guardian.
3. Up to Twenty Others Watched the Beating Unfolding Without Helping
A witness told BBC “There was a massive group coming up from The Goat pub. You couldn’t see who was hitting who. There was one person, the one who ended up in hospital, he was getting absolutely beaten up – kicked mostly in the facial area. He was getting kicked and punched by everyone.”
The witness said there were initially two groups of people – those doing the beating and those just standing around watching it unfold without intervening.
“There was a group of roughly 10 people kicking and punching him and the rest, another 10 or 20, were all just around watching,” the witness told BBC.
However, eventually, some people did come to the teenager’s assistance. “A number of people came to the aid of the victim as he lay unconscious,” reported The Guardian.
4. Police Are Treating It As a Hate Crime Because the Attackers Asked Where the Teenager Was From
Police are treating the attack as a hate crime, according to The Telegraph.
The news site quoted a police official as saying “It is understood that the suspects asked the victim where he was from and when they established that he was an asylum seeker they chased him and launched a brutal attack.”
The teen is of Kurdish-Iranian heritage, according to The Guardian.
5. Tensions Are High in London After the Terror Attack on UK Parliament
Tensions in the UK are high since a Muslim man, Khalid Masood, rammed his car into a crowd of people on Westminster Bridge and then stabbed a police officer to death as he tried to enter UK Parliament. ISIS has claimed responsibility for that attack.
Politicians moved swiftly to condemn the Croydon hate crime attack. Conservative minister Gavin Barwell said he was “appalled” and Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said he was “absolutely shocked,” The Guardian reported.
London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, released a statement that said, “On Friday, a seventeen year old man suffered horrific injuries in a brutal attack in Croydon, which is being treated as a hate crime. Hate crime has no place in London, Britain or anywhere else. Six people have been arrested in an ongoing investigation and the perpetrators will be bought to justice. London is an amazingly diverse city. We don’t just accept our differences, but we embrace and celebrate them. Our communities will not be divided by those who seek to sow hate. And we will always take a zero tolerance approach to hate crimes of any type. Anyone who witnesses a hate crime should report it to the police immediately.”
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