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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Syrian refugee pleas for no violence towards bully

The boy has voiced his fear that violence will be provoked by the video shared online.

The Syrian refugee who was the victim of a lunchtime bullying incident widely shared on social media says he no longer feels safe at his UK school. AP
The Syrian refugee who was the victim of a lunchtime bullying incident widely shared on social media says he no longer feels safe at his UK school. AP

A teenage refugee who was the subject of an attack caught on video and shared online has spoken of his concern over threats of violence online towards his bully.

The 15-year-old boy, originally from Homs, but now living in the northern city of Huddersfield was shown in a video shared this week being held down and ‘waterboarded’ by a bully. The attacker threatens to drown him, before forcefully pouring water down his neck.

The video has been shared thousands of times online, leading to criticism of the school, Almondbury Community School and threats of reprisals against the bully shown in the video.

In an interview with news website HuffPost, the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said he had become concerned when he saw the violent nature of the comments online.

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

The victim’s 14-year-old sister has also been the subject of bullying - another video surfaced on social media on Thursday of her allegedly being tormented by a fellow pupil.

West Yorkshire Police said a youth had been called to the police station on suspicion of the attack on the boy, and that it was liaising with the girl’s family regarding the latest video to surface.

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Read more:

Thousands raised for Syrian refugee waterboarded by school bully

Tommy Robinson defends teen filmed bullying Syrian refugee

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“He is a very impressive young man and was quite disturbed by the threats made on social media towards the bully,” the family’s solicitor, Tasnime Akunjee, told HuffPost.

Mr Akunjee said the extent of the bullying of both of their children had led them to consider leaving the area after being resettled there two years agi as part of a UN programme. The family had previously lived in Lebanon for six years.

As the video spread online, Mohammed Tahir set up a video to raise money for the boy and his family. At the time of writing, it had raised £140,000 from 9300 donors.