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Korean Woman Nearly Punched By 2 Men in the Netherlands Over Coronavirus Panic


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    A Korean interpreter living in the Netherlands was targeted by two men on a scooter, shouting “Chinese!” and trying to punch her as she rode on a bike.

    “It was really scary because it was late, and I was alone and I was on a street where I couldn’t see anyone nearby,” Jiye Seong-Yu, 29, told BuzzFeed.

    Seong-Yu, who was biking home alone in the Hague after dance class around 10 p.m. on Monday, dodged the punch but almost crashed her bike in the process.

    She was able to get away to tell her roommates and file a police report about the incident.

    Seong-Yu hopes surveillance footage will be found by police officers, but she was told they can’t do much else until more people file similar reports.

    Seong-Yu, who has lived in the Netherlands for three years, says she has encountered racism in the European country before, but the recent incident came as a shock to her.

    “I had been coming to the Netherlands with my stepdad who is Dutch and white and my mom for a long time,” she said. “We never had these experiences when we came here as a family.”

    “When I’m with white Dutch friends, this doesn’t happen to me,” she continued. “It’s only when I’m alone or with other Asian girlfriends.”

    Seong-Yu wants to raise awareness about the racism targeting people of Asian descent by starting an organization with Korean friends in the Netherlands. She also took to Facebook to share the incident.

    “So yes, this kind of shit is happening. Yes people are actually physically attacking Asians. So please don’t question us when we say it does,” she wrote. “We’re really tired of this shit.”

    Seong-Yu’s case follows a string of racist and xenophobic incidents with the rise of the coronavirus, which is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China.

    Jonathan Mok, a Singaporean student in London, was attacked by a group of men who yelled “I don’t want your coronavirus in my country,” before punching him in the face, which was fractured so badly he might have to undergo reconstructive surgery.

    Feature Image via BuzzFeed (Left), Jiye Emily (Right)

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