Nicola Sturgeon condemns racist attack outside Edinburgh University library

NICOLA Sturgeon has condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the perpetrators of an allegedly racist attack which happened in Edinburgh last week.

On Friday December 11, an unnamed student was set upon by a group of seven unknown assailants.

One of the attackers was allegedly heard to shout “I’m going to f*****g kill you you f*****g c***k” as they beat the victim with a vodka bottle, sign, fists, and feet.

The victim told The Daily Record that what terrified him most “is that it happened in a place where I thought I should be safe”, outside Edinburgh University library.

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At FMQs in Holyrood earlier on Thursday, Labour MSP Sarah Boyack asked if the First Minister was “concerned about the appalling racist attack in Edinburgh last Friday” and for an outline of the work being done to ensure the police has the resources to combat racism through the pandemic.

Boyack, who represents the Lothian region, stressed the importance of the matter, saying her “constituents are now extremely concerned about their personal safety”.

Responding in the chamber, Nicola Sturgeon said: “I condemn in the strongest possible terms any racist abuse or racist attack including the one in Edinburgh.

“I know how seriously police take crimes of a racist nature. Obviously how they deal with individual incidents is an operational matter for the police. We have a responsibility … to make sure the police are properly resourced and there are more police officers on our streets now as a result of the actions this government has taken.

“I think it is really really important that all of us stand firm, shoulder to shoulder, in complete solidarity against any racist abuse or racist crimes or attacks. That is not who we are and we should never, ever show any tolerance whatsoever to it.”

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Police also condemned the “despicable” attack which happened in Edinburgh’s George Square at around 7.10pm.

A spokesperson said: “A 22-year-old man was approached by a group of youths, six males and a female, who spoke to him and subjected him to racial abuse before the males attacked him. The victim was taken to hospital with minor injuries.

“This was a despicable attack and I want to thank the members of the public who intervened and called police. Edinburgh thrives on diversity and we take a zero tolerance approach to hate crime.

“Be assured that we will pursue all lines of enquiry available to us. We are also liaising with the university regarding this and there will be an increase in patrols to the George Square area.”

They added: “Anyone with information about this who has not yet spoken to police is urged to call 101 and quote incident 2927 of 11 December, or report this anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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