Sydney: An Australian man has been jailed for three years for a suspected Islamophobic attack on a pregnant Muslim woman.
Stipe Lozina, 44, punched and stamped on Rana Elasmar, 32, in Sydney last November. 38 weeks pregnant, Ms Elasmar was in a cafe with her friends, when Lozina approached their table and asked for money. When she refused, allegedly fuelled by religious prejudice, he launched into a “vicious” assault. He had yelled “you Muslims wrecked my mum” then leaned over and punched Ms Elasmar to the ground, told the prosecutors.
Security video of the attack showed that Lozina struck Elasmar at least 14 times and stamped on her back. Then other customers intervened and pulled him away. The video outraged people across Australia.
Sentencing judge Christopher Craigie had earlier described it as a “wicked and deplorable” attack from an “obviously unwell” man. He said on Thursday “The assault was one with a grave potential to cause very serious harm to both the victim and her unborn child,” BBC quoted.
Ms Elasmar who suffered minor injuries gave birth to a boy three weeks after the attack. She told the court in September that she had made conscious efforts to turn her abdomen away from attacker’s punches in a bid to protect her baby. She also told that she had felt targeted because of her religion. She expressed fear for her baby’s life and her own.
Saying that she could have been killed, if nobody intervened, Rana stressed that Islamophobia and violence against women need to end.