Koreans fall victim to racist attacks in Australia
By Na Jeong-ju
A Korean man was assaulted in Australia, Sunday, in what appears to be another racially motivated attack, according to the victim and local police, Monday.
This is possibly the third racist attack against Koreans in Australia in just three months.
The 28-year-old man, surnamed Cho, was attacked by two white men at 12:30 a.m. near his home in Runcorn, a southern suburb of Brisbane in Queensland.
The assault came less than a week after a Korean man was attacked in downtown Sydney by a group of youths. In September, a similar assault took place against a couple of Korean students by some 10 local teenagers in Melbourne. One of the Korean students had his little finger cut off and his left arm broken during that attack.
“I was talking on the phone near my home when two Caucasian men in their early 20s approached me and asked if they could use my mobile phone,” Cho said. “They attacked me when I tried to get my phone back. I yelled and then they ran away.”
Runcorn is a residential area with a large Asian population. Cho received treatment for minor injuries at a nearby hospital, and claimed he was treated unfairly — even ridiculed — by local police officers during questioning.
“They made defamatory remarks, saying Asians are stupid and silly,” Cho told the Korean media. “The officers told me that they do not understand why Asians walk around the street at night when it is dangerous.”
Earlier this month, the Australian police apologized to the Korean man attacked in Melbourne in September over their inadequate response to the racist assault against him.
Australian police closed their investigation into the case by arresting and indicting just one of the 10 suspects. In the face of criticism from Koreans there, they promised to re-investigate the case and offered an apology to the victim.
Cho has been legally residing in Australia since July last year on a work-holiday visa. He is currently working at a meat factory.
Australia currently issues working-holiday visas to people aged between 18 and 30, who are permitted to travel and work in the country. According to the Justice Ministry, there are some 30,000 Korean working holiday visa holders in Australia.