Police investigating alleged racist attack against University of Edinburgh student outside library

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Student attacked outside Uni of Edinburgh library - Scottish News
The student shared images of painful bruising.

POLICE are investigating after an Edinburgh University student was allegedly attacked outside the main campus library.

The 17-year-old posted shocking images showing injuries to his face and neck after he was allegedly ambushed by seven people on Friday evening.

The student, who wishes to remain anonymous, claims he was encircled by a gang of racist youths, who threatened to kill him before subjecting him to a brutal attack.

The images show how he has been left with a graze on his nose and a red mark on his forehead.

His ear is red and swollen, with painful purple bruising visible along his neck.

The alleged victim posted a harrowing account of his ordeal on Facebook, explaining the alleged attack began after he refused to let the group of youths try food he was eating at the time.

Injuries to face of UoE student attacked - Scottish News
The student was also left with injuries to his face.

He wrote: “When I squared up to the boy, asking him if he wanted to repeat what he said to me, I saw the entire group begin to circle around me.”

He claims that as he turned away, he was “suckerpunched” in the back of the head.

The student added: “One boy attempted to smash me in the head with a bottle of vodka and missed, getting my shoulder instead.

“I was on the floor when this happened but managed to get back up to my feet. I was then forced backwards by two more of the boys who were trying to karate kick me in the head.

“I heard one boy shout “I’m going to f***** kill you you f***** c***k” whilst another picked up one of the no-smoking signs as a weapon, and swung it at my head.”

Teen attacked outside library - Viral News
The student no longer feels safe at night on campus. (Image: Stinglehammer/Wikimedia Commons

Two bystanders managed to alert police and bring the incident to a halt.

He further explained: “I was in such shock and disbelief that something so violent and abhorrent would happen on university campus.

“The library should be a safe space where students should not feel threatened. The security guards did not intervene until afterwards, and were very helpful then, but I remember feeling so scared as I felt that nobody was going to help me.

“The boys made me feel like they were hyenas circling their prey, egging each other on as their laughter and threats filled the air.”

The images have horrified social media users.

Gemma MacFadyen wrote under the post: “That’s absolutely disgusting! Are you even allowed to defend yourself in that situation?

Teen attacked outside library - Scottish News
The events have shocked social media users.

“Teenagers can be really vicious, and probably because they will probably get away with it.”

California Janson added: “I’m so sorry you had to go through this. Sending love.”

And Holly Mitchell wrote: “I am utterly disgusted. I am so sorry this happened to you in our city.”

Speaking today, the student said: “What terrifies me the most is that it happened in a place where I thought I should be safe.

“This whole incident made me question a lot of things, how do I feel as a person of colour just walking around the university campus, because right now I feel like I’m going to avoid the library at night, and leave before sundown because being there at night might trigger some bad memories.

 

“It wasn’t the boys or what they were doing to me, but how this was happening to me here at this place, and it dawned upon me just how messed up it was.

“I just felt panic – at the time I thought, ‘holy s***, when is someone going to step in – when will they turn up or when will this end?

“This helplessness, especially when I like being in control and waiting for a hero just isn’t my character.

“I’d rather face my problems head-on, but in that moment, I couldn’t fight back. There are lines I wasn’t going to cross, I’m not going to hit a minor, I won’t kick them like they kicked me.”

A spokesman for the University of Edinburgh said: “One of our students was the victim of an attack outside the Main Library.

“This was an appalling incident, which we wholeheartedly condemn.

“We are working closely with Police Scotland to support their investigations into the incident, and to increase the presence of security and police in the area.

“We have conducted a swift review into our response on the night and continue to work with the student community to address their concerns.”

A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “A 17-year-old man was approached by a group of youths, six males and a female, who spoke to him and subjected him to racial abuse before the males attacked him.

“The victim was taken to hospital with minor injuries.

“Be assured that we will pursue all lines of enquiry available to us.

“We are also liaising with the university regarding this and there will be an increase in patrols to the George Square area.”

Following the alleged attack, students launched a protest tying themselves outside the library.

A solidarity walk has also been planned, with students hoping to raise their concerns over security at the university.