British police on Wednesday said they are seeking four suspects after an attack on a student from Singapore, amid growing racism linked to the spread of the new coronavirus.
Jonathan Mok, 23, posted an account of the late-night attack in central London's busy Oxford Street on Facebook on Monday, saying one of his attackers told him: ‘I don't want your coronavirus in my country.’
London's Metropolitan Police issued images of four men they want to interview following a ‘racially aggravated assault’ on February 24.
‘The 23-year-old victim was punched, kicked, and sustained facial injuries,’ the police said, adding that they had made no arrests.
‘This attack left the victim shaken and hurt,’ Detective Sergeant Emma Kirby said. ‘There's no room on our streets for this kind of violent behaviour and we are committed to finding the perpetrators.’
Mok posted photographs of his injuries, saying he was attacked by several people who appeared to be around 20 years old.
He noted that racist assaults against Asian people had ‘been on the rise’ in recent weeks.
‘Personally, I have experienced several racist statements directed to me in the past weeks, some involving references to the coronavirus,’ Mok wrote.
‘However, stories and videos of racially motivated assaults always seem like they would never happen to you.’ Mok said he wanted to speak out because his assault ‘highlighted an important issue that needed to be brought into the spotlight.’ ‘To those people who told me that London isn't racist, think again,’ he wrote.