Victim of racism says he will leave NI

Published Thursday, 10 January 2013
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A victim of racism has told UTV Live Tonight he is considering leaving Northern Ireland because of the campaign of intimidation he has suffered.

Originally from Egypt, the man who didn't want to be named, moved from London to Belfast two years ago for a better life with his family.

He said he became a victim of racial harassment and intimidation at his business, as a group of teenage boys verbally attacked him and threw eggs at the property.

"When I phoned the police, I have no response from the police, so I have to close my business early," he said.

"It makes me feel so bad because I am not here to waste my time and I have a family and I need money to feed my family.

"I have always been nice with people and I expect people to be nice back to me. I think, when they do this now, what are they going to do when they grow up?"

He said that his wife has also suffered racist intimidation. He said she was hit as she went into a shop and he believes she was targeted because she was wearing a hijab.

Now, he says that he will not stay in Northern Ireland because of his experiences of racism.

"I never expected a country in Europe to be like this, to be honest," he said. "I don't want my son to grow up here."

His account is revealed as a report due to be published on Friday has found black and minority ethnic people are trebly discriminated against by the system in the region, in terms of victimisation, criminalisation and employment.

The report by the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities has called for a plan to overhaul the criminal justice system, as happened in England following the murder of Stephen Lawrence.

While the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister has coordinated an ethnic monitoring framework across departments, the research demonstrated that there is still a lot to be learned from Macpherson, and from the Scottish model.

Patrick Yu, NICEM Executive Director

"Northern Ireland still lacks a 'blueprint' or plan to rid the criminal justice system of racism, like the Macpherson report in the wake of the murder of Stephen Lawrence provided for England and Wales," Patrick Yu, NICEM Executive Director explained.

"The importance of this is highlighted very clearly through the research, particularly when you look at Scotland, another devolved institution that was not bound by Macpherson, and yet took concrete steps to put the Macpherson learning into practice."

Recent reports show there were only 12 prosecutions out of almost 14,00 hate-related incidents over a period of five years .

One of NICEM's recommendations is to introduce the specific offence of racially aggravated crime.

Barbara Muldoon from the Anti-Racism Network said that legislation needs to overhauled.

"There's a definite difficulty with the legislation, it's ten years since we saw legislation being introduced with the criminal justice order 2004, where these sort of aggravated crimes, the hate elements, within crimes- we were told were going to be punished," she said.

"We have to ask a decade on, where are we?

"We're sick listening to introduction of policies and minority liaison officers, and a whole series of things which looks on the surface as if there is a will to do it," she continued.

"But the reality is that the people that we work with day in and day out who are subject to these types of crimes are telling us that often that the police fail to investigate them, where they do investigate them, they don't seem to take them seriously, and unfortunately less and less people are now willing to come forward to report them."

© UTV News
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15 Comments
Frank in County Down wrote (299 days ago):
I can confirm 100% that Northern Ireland is the most racist Country in Europe! I am originally from Germany and moved to Northern Ireland 9 years ago after living in London for 5 years! Eggs against my window, been called Nazi and Hitler a thousand times is just a small sample of my experience. Indirect racism is more worsted, like been rarest by your council try to set up a business. If I where younger or win the lottery I would leave today, right now.
tommy Atkins in London England wrote (458 days ago):
Ah Frosty and danny Why don't you do yourselves a favour and google "Racist capital of Europe" and read what comes up Frosty your figures of better education is really showing throughout the world these last few weeks I guess all the companies who are refusing to invest in N I must not have heard of your wonderful education.
STEVEN in Larne wrote (461 days ago):
What about race hate crimes against white people? According to the likes of the anti-racism network this just does not exist! "His account is revealed as a report due to be published on Friday has found black and minority ethnic people are trebly discriminated against by the system in the region, in terms of victimisation, criminalisation and employment. The report by the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities has called for a plan to overhaul the criminal justice system, as happened in England following the murder of Stephen Lawrence." Considering it's the cCouncil for Ethnic minorities who commissioned the report the results are hardly surprising. It can not really be considered balanced. Just a thought in London white British are a minority. Will groups like thesebe tripping over themselves to defend white people from racisnm?
Danny in Ulster wrote (462 days ago):
Tommy Atkins in London - Thats a bit rich calling Belfast the "Racist Capital of Europe" considering you say your in London where the Metropolitan police were found to be "Institutionally Racist" after the Lawrence report and there have been many recent events captured on film of racist attcks on trains in London! The old saying "people in glass houses" springs to mind. The number of ethnic minorities now living in NI has soared during the last decade and these type of incidents are thankfully rare.
Frosty in Here wrote (464 days ago):
@Tommy Atkins, there you go having a go at the Northern Irish again. Am sorry if you lost mates here during your service days but, if you did an actual bit of research on the internet instead of sprouting off about how much you hate us, you'd discover that Spain, Greece, Denmark, Sweden and Poland are well above anywhere in the UK, including Belfast, or indeed the rest of Europe for that matter, when it comes to racism. We may have some of the biggest morons here, but we also score highly in the top 15% when it comes to education. Maybe you need to put the tar-brush down and have a moment to think about your own prejudices?
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