Enschede’s mayor has described an attack on a Syrian refugee family by a gang of locals as a ‘disgrace’ and vowed the perpetrators will be prosecuted.
The attack took place last week, following a row between neighbourhood children, but has only just been officially confirmed, RTV Oost reports.
Reports say a number of people burst into the home of the family, took the parents outside and beat them up, leaving both with physical injuries. Mayor Onno Veldhuizen confirmed the attack at a local council meeting on Monday, saying that ‘no-one has the right to play judge and hand out physical punishment’.
Police and the local council failed to comment on the incident at the time because it had been difficult to get a handle on what really happened. ‘People were silent, sometimes out of fear, sometimes out of shame and sometimes because they approved of what happened,’ Van Veldhuizen said.
The family had only moved to the Dolphia area in Enschede four months ago and has now been offered accommodation at another location.
Van Veldhuizen said that apart from the physical damage the family also suffered emotionally. ‘What does this do to the victims and their children? And the children of those who took the law into their own hands? This is not the example we want to set our children,’ the mayor said.
Dolphia was the scene of a protest against a refugee centre in the neighbourhood four years ago. The centre never materialised because the number of refugees fell.
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