UN committee says Denmark should compensate Iraqi refugee family

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Human Rights Council

A UN anti-racism committee is recommending that Denmark compensate members of an Iraqi family who were victims of a violent attack eight years ago.

In a statement on Monday, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said the Danish authorities failed in their obligation to investigate the incident.

Up to 35 people participated in the attack, some of whom reportedly shouted that the refugee family should "go home."

Dianne Penn reports.

Iraqi refugee Mahali Dawas and another family member were beaten during the incident, which took place in the Danish town of Soro in June 2004.

Some 15 to 20 young people attacked the house where Dawas lived with his wife and eight children, breaking windows and damaging the front door.

Prior to the attack, a sign stating "no blacks allowed" was placed near the house.

According to the UN committee, Dawas reportedly was traumatized due to past political persecution in his native country, and the incident resulted in further deterioration.

His wife also reportedly suffered a nervous breakdown.

Four men were convicted on counts of violence, vandalism and illegal possession of weapons, but were only given light sentences.

However, the UN committee said the victims were not compensated and the "possible racist element" of the attack was not addressed.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration:  55″

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