A Pakistani student was attacked by a group of men and women in Newcastle, Australia, the Newcastle Herald reported on Tuesday.
Twenty-year-old Abdullah Qaiser had his nose broken on Saturday night by a man wearing a knuckle duster after his car was stopped at the University of Newcastle’s Callaghan campus.
Qaiser was driving to a university library just after 8:30pm when he saw six or seven people standing on the road blocking his path near the medical science building on campus, said the publication.
A woman reached through the passenger door and tried to grab his mobile phone, while a man pulled open the driver’s side door and yelled: “Go back to your f***ing country, you don’t belong here."
The man then punched Qaiser with a knuckle duster, breaking his nose. The group then fled the scene after the punch, taking the mobile phone, reported Newcastle Herald.
Qaiser said he blacked out briefly but then drove to the university gym where staff administered first aid and called police, campus security and an ambulance.
Qaiser arrived in Newcastle in February last year to study engineering. “I’m from Pakistan — you know what’s happening in Pakistan — people come here to get a better education, to be a bit secure. So when this kind of thing happens, it’s pretty sad,” he was quoted as saying.
Despite the racial abuse, police said they did not believe the attack was racially motivated. Qaiser agreed and said the incident turned racial only when his attacker saw him up close.
Police have said investigators were reviewing CCTV footage from the campus grounds. Police also want to speak with a man and woman in relation to the attack; both are described as being of "Caucasian appearance, aged between 20 and 25".
A University of Newcastle spokesperson said the institution was helping with police inquiries into the attack.