Irish Republican News · July 30, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Racist attacks escalate

Unionist politicians have been urged to speak out after a series of racist attacks in working-class unionist areas of the North.

A Bangladeshi man whose south Belfast home was the target of a petrol bomb attack has revealed his family have been targeted 20 times.

Mohammad Hossain said his family has been the victim of a incessant campaign of violence since they moved into the house.

“I don’t know why these people have done this to me,” he said. “I have never done any harm to them. It is an ongoing problem. I have been attacked about 20 times in that house.

“They tried to burn my house, they broke my windows, they smashed my door with a baseball bat. I don’t know why they are doing this to me.”

The Hossain family were asleep when the latest attack was launched.

Meanwhile, a Portuguese man whose life was threatened in a racist attack in Derry’s Waterside is to quit his home of over a year.

Lassana Embalo was assaulted on Tuesday in the latest of a series of attacks on him and his home.

He was pinned against a wall and had his throat squeezed by a stranger who approached him on Spencer Road on Tuesday afternoon as he was on his way to return a hired DVD.

He said his attacker at first appeared friendly but turned violent after asking how long he had lived in the city and where he was from originally.

“I told him Portugal. He said, ‘You are not from Portugal you are from Angola you black b*****d’,” Mr Embalo said.

“He squeezed my throat more saying ‘this is not your country’ and ‘f**k off back to Africa out of here’.

As the attacker walked away he spat in Mr Embalo’s face.

A 29-year-old Chinese woman was attacked in her east Belfast home recently, with threats directed against other members of the Chinese community.

Sinn Féin assembly member Alex Maskey said unionist leaders needed to do more to tackle the problem.

“A toleration by unionist politicians of blatant sec-tarianism and of sectarian in-timidation in south Belfast gives the green light to those ele-ments within their community who wish to carry out racist attacks,” he said.

“Sectarianism and racism are the two sides of the same coin and must be confronted with equal vigour if we are to build a truly inclusive city.”

“That is a challenge for all of us, but I have to say particularly for many unionist political lea-ders at this time.”

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© 2004 Irish Republican News