Syrian refugee, 15, says he feels unsafe at Huddersfield school as video emerges of attack on sister

Footage of the attack on the 15-year-old boy went viral earlier this week, prompting calls for police to take action.
Footage of the attack on the 15-year-old boy went viral earlier this week, prompting calls for police to take action.

A 15-year-old Syrian refugee attacked at his Huddersfield school in a video shared on social media has said he no longer feels safe studying there.

His comments came as fresh footage emerged today of what was said to be the boy's sister being physically abused, also at Almondbury Community School

Read more: Boy, 16, to appear before youth court after video of assault on Syrian refugee goes viral

West Yorkshire Police said a 16-year-old boy has been interviewed over the attack on the boy, and reported for summons for an offence of assault ahead of a youth court appearance.

ITV News reported the victim fled war-torn Homs with his family and now feels unsafe going to the school following the incident last month.

"I woke up at night and just started crying about this problem. They think I'm different - different from them," he told the broadcaster.

"I don't feel safe at school. Sometimes I say to my dad, 'I don't want to go to school anymore'. I was just crying and I didn't do nothing because I respect the school rules."

Supporters say they are organising a peaceful protest outside the school on Thursday.

He appears not to have been the only victim, with a fresh video emerging of a hijab-wearing girl pushed down a grass verge and shoved by a group.

The family's lawyer, Tasnime Akunjee, said it is the boy's 14-year-old sister and she was attacked on Tuesday morning.

West Yorkshire Police said: "We have been made aware of a video showing a girl being assaulted at Almondbury Community School yesterday (27/11).

"The incident had not previously been reported to the police but we are now liaising with the girl's family who we are continuing to support.

"Anyone who witnessed the incident or who has any information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact Kirklees District CID via 101."

Read more: Appeal founder 'overwhelmed' by support for young Syrian refugee attacked as donations pour in

The first incident's alleged perpetrator has been the subject of hundreds of violent threats online.

The widely-shared video of the first attack prompted wellwishers to set up an online crowdfunding page for the victim which received more than £105,000 in donations over a day.

West Yorkshire Police said: "The incident occurred on October 25 this year and has been subject to thorough investigation since it was reported to us the day after.

"The victim and his family are receiving ongoing support from police and other agencies."

The force said another "unconnected" incident occurred on October 7 and left the boy with a wrist injury.

Mr Akunjee said it was another example of bullying and caused the boy's broken arm, requiring the cast seen in the video.

Three children were interviewed but officers left the matter to be dealt with by the school.

Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman said the video of the assault against one of his constituents was "absolutely shocking".

"Understand from council that the school have taken strong action. Will be following up to ensure all available support is being given," he tweeted.

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In a letter to parents on Wednesday, Almondbury Community School headteacher Trevor Bowen said: "Since the incident occurred in October, the school, the local authority and the police have all taken action.

"We must allow the legal process to take its course, but I want to be absolutely clear that we do not tolerate unacceptable behaviour of any sort in our school.

"I can also assure you that we are working very hard to ensure it is 'business as usual' across the school and that there is no disruption to the children's education."

Dr Lisa Doyle, director of Advocacy at the Refugee Council, said: "We are utterly shocked and appalled by the attack on a 15-year-old boy who came to the UK in search of safety.

"The idea that someone escapes war and brutality, only to be met with violence here, is truly awful.

"We have been heartened by the fantastic outpouring of support from many members of the British public who are sending a clear message that nobody in our community should be treated in this way."