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Police didn’t help, Korean assaulted in London says

Nov 17,2018
A Korean student studying in Britain said that neither the local police nor the South Korean Embassy helped her after she was severely beaten by a group of strangers in London on Nov. 11.

Lee Yeon-jeong, a student at the University of Creative Arts, Canterbury, claimed she was “attacked and physically assaulted by a mixed group of racist white and black strangers” on Sunday while walking on Oxford Street in London. In a petition directed to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan on Change.org, Lee posted a lengthy testimony of the incident. She said she was attacked because of her ethnicity.

The attack started when one “black girl” began to throw trash at her on the street, which Lee responded to by throwing some back at her. Lee claims a group of teenagers much taller and heavier than her began to punch and beat her until she fell to the ground, paying no heed to her cries for them to stop. Despite the fact that the attack took place in a major tourist area in the city, most people who were passing by ignored her, Lee claimed.

“This was Oxford Street. This was Sunday evening in the central London area,” Lee’s petition read. “Out of all the people walking by, it was only two people who were trying to help me out and the rest would just be filming the scene.”

After she called the police, they failed to show up at the scene, and eventually responded only through an email telling her to see a therapist. “They were incredibly apathetic in helping me out/looking into the incident. It was an EVIDENT RACIST/HATE CRIME, and no one was wiling [sic] to help me out.”

Lee added that the South Korean Embassy was of little help, telling her to go to the local police, since the case was out of their control. Lee claimed she received injuries to her head and her chin was “entirely swollen up.” After experiencing panic and vomiting for days, she eventually went to the hospital on Thursday, she wrote.

“There are many different races living in the United Kingdom, many who experience violence just because of the color of their skin,” Lee told the JoongAng Ilbo in a phone interview on Thursday.

BY SHIM KYU-SEOK, KIM SUNG-TAK [shim.kyuseok@joongang.co.kr]


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