Gang of 'armed' racist thugs launch attack on Edinburgh shopkeepers

TWO men have been injured after a gang of youths 'armed with crowbars and a kitchen knife' attacked them.

Saturday, 25th January 2020, 4:50 pm
Updated Sunday, 26th January 2020, 1:35 pm

The 49-year-old and a 38-year-old were injured following the assault at Hay Convenience Store in Hay Avenue, Niddrie.

It has been reported by the Daily Record the gang were 'armed with crowbars and a kitchen knife' and shouted racist comments at the two shopkeepers.

The police said they are treating the incident as a hate crime.

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Gang of 'armed' racist thugs launch attack on Edinburgh shopkeepers at Hay Convenience store in Niddrie picture: Google Maps

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Stand Up To Racism Scotland is horrified to learn of the reported violent racist attack on two shopkeepers in Niddrie, Edinburgh, on Thursday evening. Given the language used, there can be no doubt that this assault was racially motivated.

This is not the first violent attack recently to be accompanied by racist abuse from the perpetrators. In May 2018, a Syrian refugee, Shabaz Ali, sustained life threatening injuries in a racially aggravated attempted murder, also in Edinburgh, with the attacker reportedly having said "go back to your country".

The two Niddrie shopkeepers assaulted on Thursday reported their attackers asking, "Why did you come to this country?" The motives for the two attacks therefore appear remarkably similar.

"This is unfortunately not an isolated incident. It in a context context of a UK Prime Minister stating that Muslim women wearing burqas resemble 'letter boxes' and 'bank robbers'. Such comments only serve to normalise and encourage more racist poison. The hostile environment towards migrants and refugees is encouraged right from the very top of society. It must end.

"Millions of people across Britain are opposed to racism and we have a proud record of combatting it. We must organise in our communities, our workplaces and on campus to isolate and challenge racism wherever it rears its ugly head.

"The 2020 Stand Up to Racism Scotland Conference will take place on Saturday 22nd February in Glasgow City Centre. We hope people can join us to say that it is time to turn the tide against racism."

A police spokesman said: "Police were called to report of a disturbance at a premises on Hay Avenue, Edinburgh, around 6.55pm on Thursday, 23 January, 2020. A 49-year-old man and a 38-year-old man were assaulted and suffered minor injuries, however they did not require hospital treatment.

"Officers are treating the incident as a hate crime and enquiries are ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting reference number 3092 of 23 January.