30/10/2009

Assaulted French Student Defiant

A leading political figure in the North West has roundly condemned an attack this week that left a French student unconscious.

The SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan was commenting after the student was assaulted in Derry.

He was beaten and knocked unconscious by youths in the Bogside area of the city.

However, the victim, who was badly beaten and knocked senseless in the attack, has since said he will not be driven out of the city.

Erik Kaczmarek, 25, was walking home from the pub early on Tuesday when he was assaulted in the Bogside.

Mr Kaczmarek, who has been living in Derry for three weeks, had his coat and mobile phone stolen.
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"It was horrible, but now I understand it was just bad guys, and you can find this kind of people in any city."

Mr Durkan said: "I unreservedly condemn this attack. This type of incident is completely unacceptable in Derry.

"I would urge everyone in our city to take pride in the fact that foreign students from all across Europe come to Derry to study and develop their English language skills.

"They come not only to study but also to experience a unique atmosphere and a famous warm welcome," he said, adding an appeal to anyone with information about this attack to give it to the police immediately.

"I know that everyone in Derry will hope that the people responsible for this attack can be caught swiftly and brought to justice," the SDLP Leader concluded.

(BMcC/KMcA)

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