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Belfast nurse told 'You from the EU? F*** off back to your country' during night out in city

By Jonny Bell

Published 28/06/2016

Mohammed Samaana
Mohammed Samaana

A Belfast nurse was told to "f*** off back to your country" after being asked if he was from the EU during a night out in the city.

The incident has been linked to a rise in racist incidents since the historic Brexit vote.

Mohammed Samaana, originally from Palestine and now a UK citizen has lived in Northern Ireland for 15 years and works in a Belfast hospital.

The 41-year-old said he was verbally abused while enjoying a night out in a city centre bar.

He said: "On Saturday night, a man I have never met before said to me: 'You from the EU? F*** off back to your country. Get the f*** out of our country.

“At first I thought he was joking, but then he continued the abuse and started shaking his fists at me. I decided it was better to leave rather than have the incident escalate.

“What makes me really sad is that the three men and three women who were with him didn’t say a word, condoning his racism by their silence.

"I think everyone now needs to speak out and challenge racism wherever and whenever we see it.”

Mr Samaana is a member of Amnesty International, which has launched an emergency campaign to combat racism and xenophobia in the UK.

There have been growing reports of racist incidents across the UK since the historic Leave vote win in the EU referendum.

Amnesty has urged politicians and councils to condemn racism and provide support toward helping prevent incidents.

Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty’s Northern Ireland programme director, added: "This racist verbal attack - in a busy Belfast bar - is just the latest reported incident of its type across the country.

"Bigotry and xenophobia existed before this referendum, but it feels like racists now think it is open season to attack people of a different nationality, accent or skin colour.

“When politicians fuel racist thinking, we should not be wholly surprised when some people feel they have been given a license to act on their prejudices.

“Society must not stand idly by while migrants and people from minority ethnic communities feel fearful for their safety and their future. After a nasty referendum campaign, politicians must deliver action, not merely words, to reassure everyone that they can feel secure and welcome here.

“Amnesty calls on Northern Ireland’s political representatives, in councils and in the Assembly, to do all in their power to stand against hate.”


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