Five charged for hate crime against refugee in London

Five charged for hate crime against refugee in London
British police confirmed five people were charged for a suspected hate crime against an asylum-seeker in the south of the capital on Monday.
2 min read
03 April, 2017
Police said the teenager's condition was 'serious but stable' [Getty]
Five people were charged over a suspected hate crime attack on a 17-year-old Kurdish Iranian asylum-seeker in south London, British police said on Monday.

The 17-year-old was beaten unconscious and left with a fractured skull and a blood clot on the brain, following the attack which took place in Croydon on Friday night.

Read more here: Brutal racist attack in London leaves Iranian-Kurdish teenager unconscious

The man was with three friends at a bus stop when he was approached by a gang of eight men and women who demanded to know where he was from.

"When they established that he was an asylum-seeker, they chased him and launched a brutal attack," police investigator Gary Castle said.

"He 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," he said.

Castle condemned violence against "those who have come to London to seek refuge and a place of safety."

Police said the teenager's condition was "serious but stable and is not believed to be life-threatening."

Police arrested four men and two women in Croydon on Saturday on charges of attempted murder and violent disorder, according to The Guardian.

Police said they were questioning a 24-year-old man, a 24-year-old woman, three 20-year-old men and a 20-year-old woman at the time of the arrests.

Gavin Barwell, Croydon Central MP, described the attackers as "scum" and said they do not represent the majority of his constituents.

Croydon was the final destination for 14 unaccompanied teenage asylum-seekers who were living in the Jungle Camp, across the Channel in Calais, France.

The decision sparked outrage from some right-leaning sections of the media who, despite the insistence of the government, cast doubt on whether the refugees were teenagers.

Police say there has been an upsurge in racist violence since the UK voted to leave the EU last year. Immigration played a key role in the debate and some have argued that the decision to leave has given racists a boost in confidence.

Since then, hundreds of hate crimes – including the murder of a Polish man – have been investigated while police say many more assaults go unreported.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said hate crime "has no place in London, Britain or anywhere else" and the Refugee Council charity said it was "disgusted" by the attack.

There were 62,518 hate crimes recorded by police in England and Wales last year compared to 52,465 the previous year – an increase of 19 percent.