Sunday Times, 2nd April 2017
Four men and two women have been arrested after a teenage asylum seeker was beaten unconscious in a suspected race hate attack.
The 17-year-old boy, believed to be an Iranian Kurd, was allegedly attacked after eight members of the gang asked him where he was from in the unprovoked assault on Friday night in Croydon, south London. He had been waiting with two friends at a bus stop close to the Goat pub in Broom Road.
“It is understood that the suspects asked the victim where he was from,” said Detective Sergeant Kris Blamires of Croydon CID. “He has sustained serious head and facial injuries as a result of this attack, which included repeated blows to the head by a large group of attackers.
“A number of people came to the aid of the victim as he lay unconscious and injured following the assault.”
He is in a serious but stable condition in hospital, reportedly suffering from a fractured skull and a blood clot on his brain. His two friends, also Iranian Kurds, suffered minor injuries.
The suspects are alleged to have run from the scene of the attack in Shrublands Avenue in the direction of the Goat pub.
Four 20-year-olds, a 24-year-old woman and 24-year-old man are the suspects that have been arrested, officers said.
Witnesses are asked to call police on 101 with any information relating to the attack.
Conservative minister Gavin Barwell, Croydon Central’s MP, said: “I think most people in Croydon will be as appalled as I am that what appears to have happened is a young man who came to this country seeking sanctuary has apparently been targeted because of his ethnic background. It’s an appalling crime and I hope the people responsible are caught quickly and receive the full force of British justice.”
Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary and MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, warned that the incident appeared to be part of an increasing trend of hate crimes which the government needed to address.
She said that the alleged crime may be “part of a sustained increase in hate crimes that this Tory government is yet to offer any effective response to,” she said.
“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.
“We must make clear that there is no place for anti-foreigner myths, racism and hate in our society.”