Sunday 23 April 2017

Stand Up To Racism: Protesters show support for refugees after teenage asylum seeker attacked

Stand Up To Racism hold a unity protest in Croydon following the attack on 17-year-old asylum seeker Reker Ahmed.
Stand Up To Racism hold a unity protest in Croydon following the attack on 17-year-old asylum seeker Reker Ahmed.

By Nilima Marshall

The group marched through Croydon in south London.

Dozens of protesters have gathered to show solidarity with refugees in the town where a 17-year-old asylum seeker was brutally attacked.

The group marched through Croydon, south London, as part of a protest organised by campaigners Stand Up To Racism.

The march comes after Kurdish Iranian student Reker Ahmed was beaten and kicked by a gang of around 30 while waiting at a bus stop in the town with two friends.

A stream of around 100 people travelled through Croydon on Saturday, brandishing signs and chanting: “No hate, no fear, refugees are welcome here.”

Weyman Bennett, 51, joint national convener for Stand Up to Racism, said the march was a “public display of sympathy and support” for Reker and his family.

He said: “I think it’s a tragedy that Reker Ahmed has escaped a war zone to be attacked in Croydon.

“It’s a tragedy both for the local people and obviously for himself and his family.

“We have to make sure that we welcome refugees and treat them with respect – because it’s how we would like to be treated if we were refugees.

“There are problems in Croydon but they are not caused by refugees, they are caused by the problems that existed before refugees arrived inside this country.”

Following the attack on March 31, a total of 16 people have been arrested and 13 charged with offences including attempted murder and violent disorder, the Metropolitan Police has said.

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