by Daily Sabah with Agencies
Apr 01, 2015 12:00 am
Sweden's Malmö city has recently started a nationwide fundraising program for a nine-year old Moroccan refugee boy, who was assaulted at the city's train station in February. The funds will also cover the hospital expenses of the boy's father living in Morocco, who reportedly needs to have surgery, according to an interview the boy gave to regional daily Sydsvenskan.
Sweden was shaken in February by a security guard's assault on the Moroccan boy Samir inside the Malmoe central station. Video footage of the boy, uploaded by witnesses, showing the boy begging for mercy as the security guard banged his head against a brick floor shocked Sweden, the first country in the world to ban corporal punishment for children, and a nation that prides itself on having some of Europe's most generous asylum policies.
Crying and gasping for air, the boy was heard reciting an Islamic prayer that is sometimes said when a person is about to die. "The clip does not do reality justice," a witness who declined to be named had written in daily Sydsvenskan.
The security guard has been suspended pending a police investigation into the incident, which took place after the boy boarded a train without a ticket.
"Would a blond head have been banged against the floor?" columnist Lars Lindstroem wrote following the incident in tabloid Expressen, while author Jonas Gardell wrote an emotional text contrasting the boy's fate to that of his nine-year-old daughter.
More than a third of residents in Malmoe, Sweden's third largest city with a population of 315,000, are immigrants and the area is home to one of Scandinavia's largest Muslim communities.
However, south Sweden is also where the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats traditionally draw most of their support and surveys consistently show that young people in the region have a more negative view of immigrants than the rest of the country.