Irish Republican News · January 9, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]

The PSNI police have been accused of racism amid a loyalist pogrom against ethnic minorities in south Belfast.

On Wednesday night, an eight-and-a-half months pregnant Pakistani woman and her brother-in-law were left badly shaken when their home was attacked on the Donegall Road.

A 6ft wooden plank was pushed through a double-glazed window, showering glass over the living room area where they had been eating.

It is understood that the family had moved into the terraced house in the loyalist Village district just hours earlier.

Several families have been attacked in the Donegall Road and Village areas of south Belfast in recent weeks, with members of the Chinese and Ugandan communities among those singled out.

And it has now emerged the offices of a Belfast estate agent were petrol-bombed after he was ordered not to rent homes to members of the Chinese or black community.

William Faulkner was critical of the PSNI police, accusing them of allowing the situation to deteriorate.

While he said there was more of a police presence now in the area, he believed ``they let it go too far before they did anything about it''.

``I do believe that, if it continues on, there is somebody who is going to be burnt alive in a house or murdered,'' he said.

South Belfast Sinn Féin Assembly member Alex Maskey said that he is seeking urgent meetings with British minister Jane Kennedy to discuss the ongoing campaign against ethnic minorities in the area.

Mr Maskey said: `` So far we have heard nothing from her on this issue or seen no decisive action from her department,'' he said. ``If this situation is not tackled then it is very clear that the people behind this campiagn of intimidation and violence will not stop until someone is killed.''

The loyalist paramilitary UVF has been blamed for organising extortion rackets focusing on Chinese-owned businesses in south Belfast, andt the rival loyalist UDA has been infiltrated by far-right groups like Combat 18.

The numbers of families forced from their homes in the Village and Donegall Road areas is now in double figures, there has been just one arrest and not a single conviction.

Alliance councillor Geraldine Rice claimed there would be no confidence in the PSNI ``unless there is a concerted effort to bring the hate-filled racists behind these attacks to justice.''

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© 2004 Irish Republican News