England riots: YouTube mugging victim 'recovering'

image captionMr Haziq is due to have an operation for a broken jaw at the Royal London hospital, Whitechapel

A Malaysian student who was filmed being mugged after rioters attacked him in London is recovering in hospital.

The attack in Barking on Mohd Asyraf Haziq, 20, on Monday night, made headlines after it was put on YouTube.

Dzuhair Hanafiah, chairman of the London UMNO Club, an organisation which takes care of Malaysian people in the capital, said Mr Haziq was "in good spirits".

He said he was due to have surgery on his jaw at the Royal London Hospital.

Mr Hanafiah, who visited the accountancy student in hospital on Tuesday night, said Mr Haziq had been on his bicycle on his way to a friend's house when he was attacked by a group of youths.


"They wanted his bicycle - one of them took it away. Asyraf said he was no more than 12 years old. Another person took his mobile phone. Then someone punched or knocked him with an object, he can't remember what, but when he regained consciousness he was bleeding," he told the BBC.

Mr Hanafiah said the friend who was with Mr Haziq, who was also on a bicycle, managed to escape.

The YouTube clip - which has been viewed more than a million times - shows a group of young men appearing to try to assist Mr Haziq, helping him to his feet, only for them to rummage through the contents of his rucksack and remove items, leaving him to stagger off in a daze.

"According to Asyraf, a different group then came and stole his Sony PSP, a game console, but they didn't manage to find his wallet. He thinks they may have been part of the same gang, but there were about 20 people," said Mr Hanafiah.

He said Mr Haziq was "really shaken at that point" but was rescued by a local woman who took him back to her house, and then managed to contact a friend of his through Facebook, who came and picked him up.

Mr Hanafiah said as the swelling got worse, the friend realised Mr Haziq - who had won a scholarship to study in the UK and had arrived in London only last month - needed more treatment and he went to hospital.

Speaking about the attack, Mr Hanafiah said Mr Haziq was "shocked that he had been beaten up, and that he couldn't defend himself", but he believed he was all right.

"He wants justice to be upheld, he knows a police report will be lodged and he hopes the police will take action. None of his property has been found.

'Rescue missions'

"But he looked pretty cheerful. He's due to have surgery today for a broken jaw, he's got some broken teeth, but he seems in good spirits," he said.

Mr Hanafiah said Mr Haziq told him the attack would not deter him from studying accountancy at Kaplan Financial in London Bridge, and he wanted to continue to live in Barking.

But he said some other Malaysian students in London had been in contact over the past few days with concerns, and there had been a few "rescue missions".

"At 4am we had a call from a lady in Peckham who didn't feel safe, so we went and picked her up, and she is now staying in a student hostel in Bayswater.

"We've also moved five of Asyraf's friends from Barking to the hostel," he said.

Asked whether Mr Haziq had seen the clip on YouTube, Mr Hanafiah said he had.

"He knows about it, he was laughing when he saw it, but he doesn't know the extent of the YouTube effect on him yet," he said.

Mr Hanafiah said there were about 12,500 Malaysian students in the UK; about 4,000 of them are government-sponsored students.

A spokesman for the Malaysian high commission said it had offered consular assistance to Mr Haziq and that the deputy high commissioner, Wan Zaidi Wan Abdullah, had visited him in hospital.

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