Locals 'shamed' by racist attack
A NIGERIAN man who was subjected to a race hate attack in east Belfast has said that he will not be chased out of his home.
The 27-year-old night shift security guard, who did not wish to be identified, has only been living in the property in Wayland Street off the Castlereagh Road, less than a week.
The victim and his housemate, another Nigerian man who is too afraid to return to the property, returned from work on Monday morning to find their house had been targeted.
The perpetrators smeared the house with the racist slogan 'Blacks Out' before smashing several holes in the front door and window. Another racist message was left at back of the house.
The men have lived and worked in Belfast for over eight years but said this was their first experience of racism since living here.
The Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities (NICEM) condemned the attack and said they would be visiting the men to offer support. Executive Director, Patrick Yu said: "Racism of any kind has no place in the building of a shared society. I urge community leaders to work together to fight racism and any kind of discrimination of this kind. No one deserves to be attacked because of who they are. This kind of violence is unacceptable," he added.
DUP MLA Robin Newton said that the vast majority of east Belfast were decent people and would be ashamed of this vile and racist attack. "The good people of east Belfast are warm-hearted, welcoming and neighbourly and this attack is not done in their name," he said. "Racism has destroyed communities and I know the local residents and I know they will join together in condemning the attacks."
Alliance Party MLA Chris Lyttle said: "Racist graffiti disgusts me and has absolutely no place in our society. I am sure local people will join me in condemning this incident and I would urge anyone with information to contact the PSNI as soon as possible."
"This type of blatant intimidation must be stamped out. East Belfast is a vibrant place, open for businesses and a great place to live. We cannot allow this positive atmosphere to be damaged in such a way."
The PSNI has launched an investigation and appealed for witnesses to contact them on 0845 600 8000, or anonymously using Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.