NEWS
29/11/2018 20:13 GMT

Exclusive: Syrian Refugee Attacked At School Doesn’t Want Violence Aimed At The Bully

Teenage victim reveals he wants to stop anything ‘unpleasant’ happening to the perpetrator.

HuffPost UK
The 15-year-old victim of an attack which went viral online says he doesn't want violence directed at his bullies

A teenage Syrian refugee who was filmed being attacked at school has expressed his concerns about threats being made towards the perpetrator.

The 15-year-old boy revealed to HuffPost UK that he doesn’t want any violence aimed at the bully after online abuse was directed at the 16-year-old.

He said: “I am very concerned about the violent comments going out on social media about the bully.

“I don’t want anything terrible to happen to him at all. I just don’t want anything bad to happen to anyone.”

Footage of the incident has been seen around 15 million times since it went viral earlier this week.

The incident took place at Almondbury Community School in Huddersfield on October 25 and was reported to police the following day.

West Yorkshire Police confirmed on Wednesday that a 16-year-old boy has been summoned to court to be charged with assault over the incident.

The Syrian refugee was shown in the video being shoved to the ground by his neck, threatened with drowning and having water poured on his face while having his arm in a cast.

The teenager’s family solicitor, Tasnime Akunjee, told HuffPost UK that the boy’s concerns for the bully show his maturity and compassion.

He said police are investigating the incident but the victim and his family are alarmed at the violent threats being made online towards the bully.

Akunjee said: “He is a very impressive young man and was quite disturbed by the threats made on social media towards the bully.

He expressed his concerns for the bully saying that he did not want anything unpleasant or bad to happen to the boy.

“He is concerned about the fact that no other children are harmed - including the bullies.” 

Tasnime Akunjee
Tasnime Akunjee, the solicitor acting for the family of the Syrian refugee who was attacked at school in Huddersfield

“It is a shocking video,” Akunjee, who is a solicitor based in London told HuffPost UK.

“But some people are calling for the bully to be bullied and that is certainly not what this boy or any of his family want.

“He just wishes this never happened and that none of the bullying ever took place.”

He added: “This is the mature attitude with which he has conducted himself even while being bullied.”

The solicitor also revealed the family fled persecution from Homs in Syria where one of their relatives was tortured and killed.

The family went to Lebanon where they stayed as refugees for six years before coming to the UK and settling in Huddersfield two years ago through a UN programme.

Akunjee says the family are now seriously considering uprooting and moving elsewhere in the country, particularly since realising the extent of bullying affecting the victim’s 14-year-old sister and the impact on her.

Another video emerged showing a hijab-wearing girl being pushed over on to a grass verge at the same school - and the family’s solicitor has confirmed it was the boy’s sister.

West Yorkshire Police has confirmed that after visiting the victim’s family on November 28, they were made aware of a second video in which a young female from the same family was assaulted at school.

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

They confirmed a 16-year-old suspect was reported for summons in relation to the attack on the 15-year-old and is currently waiting a date to appear at youth court.

A spokesman from West Yorkshire Police said: “From the start of the investigation on Octoner, there has been a multi-agency approach to this incident, including police, the local authority and the school visiting the family.

“This incident has been treated very seriously by all those involved and has been swiftly investigated.

“The victims and their family have been receiving ongoing support from police and other partner agencies including Kirklees Council, as part of the Syrian Refugee resettlement programme and this continues with additional support while they are victims of crime.”

The police force added they were aware of rumours circulating on social media about the individuals involved in the incidents and that no reports had been made to West Yorkshire Police to substantiate these claims.