Refugees in NY attacked

Published on Jul 14 2009 // Main News

Bronx, New York: New York-based local online news portal syracuse.com has wrote in today’s edition that in some areas of Syracuse in New York State in USA, there have increased incidents concerning physical attacks on exiled Bhutanese resettled here. 

According to the report published in the online, eight men attacked Hari Rizai while he was walking on Syracuse’s North Side. The attack landed the 22-year-old in the emergency room with swollen eyes and blood gushing from his nose.

The site further stated that six men attacked two brothers, Ganga and Tara Odari, on Lodi Street. One man pulled out a knife; another punched the brothers in the face and head. Click here to watch the video.

Quoting the refugees, the site stated that refugees including the Bhutanese national are under attack on the city’s North Side.

“Some people throw rocks at them, and refugee children say they sometimes are attacked when they get off the school bus or ride their bikes or skateboards. Refugees say they are afraid to walk the streets alone”, reads the report filed at sycaruse.com. 

Syracuse police and refugee resettlement agency officials have also confirmed that refugees have been attacked.

Rizal, the Bhutanese refugee attacked on the North Side, said his eyeglasses broke when he was punched repeatedly in the face and head last November in the 800 block of Butternut Street. The attack left his vision in his right eye impaired, he said.

“They hit me and ran away,” he said. “I feel fear to walk the streets at all times. When I see black guys, I get afraid.”

The Odari brothers, who lived in a refugee camp in Nepal for 17 years, said they came to America in March because this country is a safe haven. But they fear for their lives because of the attacks on them and other refugees.

“We came to America to get freedom. We didn’t think we would get beaten,” said Ganga Odari, 34.

“I’m so frustrated, I don’t feel any peace and security,” said Tara Odari, 26. “I don’t have any guarantee for my life. I’m too afraid of them.”

Compiled by:
T P Mishra/BNS
New York City