In bias-motivated crimes, four Muslim women in Australia were allegedly punched in the face by a 39-year-old journalism student from Paraguay.
One of four Muslim women targeted in four successive and unprovoked Islamophobic attacks on Wednesday said she was randomly punched in the face as she walked through the city wearing her headphones.
Maria Claudia Gimenez Wilson, a 39-year-old journalism student from Paraguay, is charged with assaulting the four women, aged 18-23, as they walked along busy roads near University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in Ultimo, Sydney Morning Herald reported.
All four women were wearing hijab, and were allegedly punched in the face. Officers are treating the assaults as “bias-motivated crimes” after Wilson allegedly told police she was motivated by a hatred of Muslims, the report said.
One of the alleged victims, Hanan Merheb, posted on Facebook that she was walking past UTS listening to music and “in a pretty good mood” when she was punched out of nowhere. “[I was] staring absent-mindedly ahead of me when some lady... came up to me and punched me in the face,” she said.
“She didn’t speak to me, didn’t run away, she just punched me and walked off, as casually as if she had just come to say hello.” Ms Wilson, who moved to Australia to study, was ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment on Thursday after her Legal Aid solicitor, Vanya Hampel, told the court that her client was seeking to be dealt with under mental health legislation....