The British public have raised more than £49,000 in a GoFundMe campaign for a 15-year-old Syrian refugee who has gone viral after shocking footage of him being 'waterboarded' by bullies was posted to social media.
In the video, a young white male can be seen dragging the 15-year-old refugee - reportedly named Jamal - to the ground by his neck, before 'waterboarding' by pouring water into his face, while saying 'I'll drown you'. Jamal's arm is in a cast, reportedly due to a broken wrist.
The video was reportedly taken in the playing fields of a school on 25 October, and police are now investigating the crime as a 'racially-aggravated assault', reports The Independent.
The victim's family reportedly fled the city of Homs in Syria, which was the location of a three-year siege by the Syrian military from 2011 to 2014.
Since the shocking video went viral, many have united in condemnation of the vicious attack, and have shared their disgust as well as their support for the victim on Twitter.
Twitter user Mohammed Tahir also started a GoFundMe campaign for the victim and his family, which has raised an incredible £49,012 at the time of writing.
Writing on the page, he said:
Jamal's family are refugees in the UK and they struggle to meet the basic necessities of life.
We want to raise money for the family to ease their situation and hopefully they can use the funds to help improve their quality of life and to put a smile on their faces.
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.
There has also been an outpouring of support for Jamal and his family on Twitter, after the shocking video went viral.
Barry Sheerman, MP for Huddersfield, took to the platform to say:
Video of assault against one of my constituents absolutely shocking.
Have been supporting the family since it was first brought to my attention.
Understand from council that the school have taken strong action. Will be following up to ensure all available support is being given!
Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood was also among those who reacted to the shocking footage. Taking to Twitter he said:
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.
Author James O'Brien also expressed his disgust. Tweeting a link to the video, he said:
The tone of much Syrian refugee coverage in most corners of the media made this inevitable. Inexcusable, but inevitable. This little scrote will be made an example of, but all the politicians, pundits & editors who incited him won’t suffer a single consequence. For shame.
Nimco Ali, a former child refugee, took to Twitter to express her sadness at the video, but also to celebrate the refugees' strength:
The video of the young Syrian refugee being bullied is just heartbreaking. As someone whose family are all refugees and as a former child refugee what that bully does not know is the strength it takes to lose everything and to start over.
Kirklees Council said:
Neither us nor the school condone violence in any form and behaviour like this will not be tolerated.
Superintendent Steve Dodds, of West Yorkshire Police Kirklees District, also made a statement regards the video:
We are investigating a report of a racially-aggravated assault of a 15-year-old boy which occurred on playing fields at Almondbury Community School at about 1pm on October 25.
A 16-year-old boy has been interviewed by voluntary attendance in connection with the incident and we are continuing to progress the investigation.