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The New Arab

Thousands donate to Syrian refugee boy in sickening attack video

Shocking footage of the attack was shared widely online. [Getty]

Date of publication: 28 November, 2018

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Police are investigating the 'racially-aggravated assault' of 15-year-old Syrian refugee Jamal in Huddersfield after footage of the attack went viral online.
Footage has emerged online of a Syrian refugee boy being physically assaulted and 'waterboarded' in a disturbing school bullying attack in the United Kingdom.

The victim, named online as 15-year-old Jamal, is squirted in the face with water before being headbutted in the face by a school bully in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire during the attack.

The boy, whose arm is in a cast, is then pinned down by his throat as the attacker says "I'll drown you" before forcing water from a bottle into his mouth.

The incident is said to have taken place on playing fields at Almondbury Community School on 25 October and was filmed on a mobile phone by one of the attacker's friends, who cheered and laughed during the victim's ordeal.

Jamal and his family settled in the area two years ago after fleeing war-torn Homs in Syria, which was under a brutal siege by the Assad regime from 2011 to 2014.

The boy and his siblings have reportedly suffered months of bullying, to the point where Jamal's younger sister attempted to cut her own wrists in the school toilets.

Police said they were investigating a "racially-aggravated assault" and had interviewed a 16-year-old boy in connection with the incident.

It emerged later that the boy who allegedly attacked the Syrian refugee is to be charged with assault, as it was reported the victim's sister had her headscarf ripped off in another attack on the same say.

The suspected attacker's Facebook page features frequent posts expressing support for far-right anti-Muslim group Britain First and Tommy Robinson, a notorious British far-right activist.

There has been an outpouring of support for Jamal on social media, with a GoFundMe campaign raising over £50,000 in 13 hours.

"Jamal's family are refugees in the UK and they struggle to meet the basic necessities of life," Mohammed Tahir, who started the fundraising campaign, said.

"Having left a war torn country, the least they deserve is to live in peace without being harassed. Please donate generously and let's change this horrible situation into a blessing in disguise for them."

Footage of the sickening attack has caused outrage online.

Danny Maki, a Syrian journalist based in London, wrote on Twitter: "Escapes death, destruction and violence in Syria only to be viciously attacked, waterboarded and bullied at school in the U.K. This makes my blood boil."

Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood also shared the video, writing: "Absolute disgrace - Please retweet."

"This bully, his parents, the school where this occurs and the onlookers who fail to step in, all have big questions to answer. To the Syrian refugee - I say sorry. It's not the welcoming, friendly Britain we are supposed to be."

A spokesman for Kirklees Council said on Twitter that "neither us nor the school condone violence in any form and behaviour like this will not be tolerated."

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