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‚Find our son’s killers‘: Plea by family of Arab student killed in race attack

Posted by Botschaft - 25/08/2008

Mohammed Al-Majed

Murdered: Mohammed Al-Majed

The family of an overseas student who died in racist attack at a British seaside resort has demanded justice as police admitted foreigners in the town had suffered high levels of violent crime.
The body of Mohammed Al-Majed, 16, was being flown back to his native Qatar after he died from a serious head injury following the attack on Friday night. Police figures have revealed that in the past three summers, a total of 98 crimes were recorded against foreign students in Hastings, including 41 assaults and 11 robberies.
Witnesses say the privately educated teenager was beaten and kicked by a gang of drunken thugs after leaving a social club with friends.

Backing away from the blows, the youngster fell, striking his head on the pavement. It is unclear whether he was pushed or simply stumbled. He died in hospital two days later. The teenager was one of the 50,000 students who visit the historic East Sussex town each year to improve their English and learn about Britain’s ‚culture, customs and traditions‘. But in an attack on the yob culture which cost his son’s life, Mohammed’s father Abdullah said: ‘Justice has to be done in all this investigation. All of those involved in committing this crime should be punished for this crime on a young, innocent 16-year-old boy.

‘Mohammed was a young student who was loved by his family, friends and teachers. He was a charming, loving boy and there is nothing that can replace our loss.’ His father and uncle were returning this evening to their home in Doha with the body. It emerged today that police had been warned about the attack an hour before Mohammed suffered a fatal blow to his head. Officers admitted that the owner of USA Fried Chicken and Kebab House, Remzi Tanriverdi, yards from where the attack happened, had told them to keep an eye on the gang.

The 43-year-old said a short while later the drunken yobs launched an unprovoked attack on the youths.
Mohammed, who was a student at EF International Language Schools in Hastings, has four brothers and a sister. Police said they regularly met with the language schools in the area in a bid to reduce the number of attacks on foreign students, which stands at three in the past fortnight.

The attack happened at the popular seaside resort of Hastings

Unprovoked assault: The attack happened at the popular seaside resort of Hastings

Inspector Martin Mann said today: ‘Crime against foreign students has been particularly low this year, compared with previous years. In the past two weeks we have had three reported assaults on foreign students, which is down from last year.’

Thousands of foreigners come to Hastings each summer to brush up on their English at the 18 language schools dotted around the area. The growing number of international students also seems to have sparked an increase in racist attacks across the country. Last year, 14 students from Qatar fled Salisbury after they were repeatedly assaulted by racist yobs. Educational establishments in Qatar are now warning pupils going to England of the dangers of yob Britain.

Foreign pupils in Hastings said many were now too scared to stray outdoors. Ahmed Othman, 16, from Libya, said he would tell other students to stay away. He said: ‘Everyone is scared. The foreign students I have spoken too think it’s just too dangerous. ‘At night there are lots of fights. I thought England was a safe and a very nice place. But some people drink too much here and just make trouble.

Remzi Tanriverdi owns the kebab shop outside which Mohammed was beaten and left for dead

Shocked: Remzi Tanriverdi owns the kebab shop outside which Mohammed was beaten and left for dead

‘During the attack they called him ‘Saddam Hussain and Osama Bin Laden’. I would definitely tell others not to come here. ‘I was meant to stay for three months, but my parents now want me to return home straight away.’ Police said they were treating the death as racially motivated. A post mortem examination found that the death was caused by head injuries. A youth of 17, and three local men, two who are 18 and one aged 20, have been interviewed and released on police bail pending further inquiries.

Leading the investigation, DCI Graham Pratt said: ‘Mohammed, I believe, was trying to make his way away from the incident and during the course of the incident he has fallen and struck his head on the pavement, sustaining serious head injuries.’ A teenager attacked outside a shop on a night out died in hospital yesterday with his mother at his bedside. Dominic Barritt, 18, suffered serious head injuries in the assault in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, on Saturday. Police have begun a murder inquiry.

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