Middle East

UK home secretary says he had been bullied, like the Syrian boy

British home secretary Sajid Javid said he had been bullied and "punched to the ground" at the age of 11 because he was Asian on Monday to BBC Radio 4.

He said the attack on a 15-year-old Syrian boy, which widely spread on social media, "reminded" him of his time being bullied.

"Obviously I hated it and I thought how that young boy must feel," Javid told BBC Radio 4's Today program. "Those memories flooded back for me."

A shocking clip that went viral in the UK shows the victim with his arm in a cast, being squirted in the face with water after being dragged to the floor by his neck, as his attacker says “Ill drown you.”

This Syrian refugee has endured months of racist bullying in a school in Sheffield, the thugs already broke his arm and now mockingly waterboard him when they get a chance, name and shame these thugs,school and police have done little to help. pic.twitter.com/JMkJ1aFgCq

— blue days dark nights (@saeed6ali) November 27, 2018

The video, filmed in a lunch break at Almondbury Community School, in Huddersfield, on 25 October, has been condemned by leading politicians, including Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn.

"I saw the video like anyone else and part of me was clearly absolutely outraged and, to be frank, it reminded of an incident I had myself when I was 11 at school," said Javid.

He said his first reaction to the attack had been "How can this kind of thing still be going on in our country?" he said.

Javid, whose parents emigrated to the UK from Pakistan in the early 1960s, said he had been involved in a "very similar" incident shortly after he had started at a comprehensive school in Bristol, where he grew up.

A 16-year-old older boy is to be charged with assault in connection with the incident. The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will appear at youth court "in due course".

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Last Update: Tuesday, 4 December 2018 KSA 15:51 – GMT 12:51

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