Race hate thugs terrorise African duo
Sudanese students have spoken of the fear they feel living in east Belfast after two attacks this month which included assault, burglary, car tyres being slashed and a Koran being ripped apart.
Belfast Metropolitan College student Ahmed Mohammed Alzian (34) and warehouse worker Adam Ahmed Taha (34) said the Housing Executive has been slow to recognise that they are being intimidated out because they are from an ethnic minority group.
Mr Alzian, who lives with fellow Met student Hussam Eldim Ahmed (40), has been in Northern Ireland since fleeing conflict-torn Sudan in 2013.
On October 6 two men trashed their home in Island Street, used knives to cut up beds, scrawled ‘heiron (sic)’ on the wall, and said they should “go back to Africa”.
Mr Alzian said: “They hit me with bars and damaged everything and said we should go back to Africa. I can’t sleep properly. I don’t feel safe. They said they were going to kill us.”
Mr Alzian’s friend Adam Taha from nearby Newcastle Street came to his assistance. They caught the men on camera as they fled the property and provided the evidence to the PSNI. The attackers later returned with metal bars in a failed attempt to retrieve the photos.
Mr Alzian and Mr Ahmed have since moved to a hostel but Mr Taha, a widower, is still living in Newcastle Street with his five-year-old daughter Amira.
Mr Taha said: “They called us drug dealers and stupid things and told us to go home.”
Then early on Sunday, his car tyres were slashed.
The PSNI confirmed officers are investigating the incidents they described as “hate crime”.
In a statement, the Housing Executive said it had been been in regular contact with Ahmed and made two offers of temporary accommodation.
“The applicant has been accepted as homeless with additional points being allocated to recognise an incident of this nature (fear of violence),” it said. “But we cannot award him points for intimidation. The PSNI has said there is currently no evidence to indicate a threat exists against him.”