London

Asylum seeker attacked in Croydon 'thought he would die'

Reker Ahmed
Image caption Reker Ahmed suffered a bleed on his brain, a fractured eye socket and fractured spine

The asylum seeker who was attacked in south London has told Kurdish campaigners he "thought he was going to die".

Kurdish MP Faysal Sariyiliz, who visited Reker Ahmed in hospital, said the 17-year-old was "very pleased to be alive" after the assault

The teenager was beaten and kicked by a gang while waiting at a bus stop in Croydon on Friday night.

Police are still looking for five males over the attack.

Mr Sariyiliz visited the Kurdish-Iranian teenager with Zinar Demeni, from the Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The 17-year-old was beaten and kicked by a gang while waiting at a bus stop

He told the BBC, Reker had said "the number of people attacking him" had made him fear he would be killed.

Mr Demeni said the victim was still "in pain" and that "his body was battered and... he wasn't able to move much."

"I told him that many British people in the UK are behind you, they support you, they condemn this attack," he added.

"When he heard this, and heard how many people were supporting him, this put a huge smile on his face."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Graffiti has appeared in Croydon in support of Reker Ahmed

The 17-year-old suffered a bleed on his brain, a fractured eye socket and fractured spine in the attack.

He was visited by his brother Hadi Ahmed on Tuesday, who said Reker had not recognised him.

A demonstration by Kurds was held in Croydon earlier.

Thirteen people, aged between 15 and 24, have been charged with violent disorder in relation to the attack.

A total of 16 people have been arrested. Three of those will face no further action.

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