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Maskey - scale of racist attacks alarming

7 April, 2004


South Belfast Sinn Féin Assembly member Alex Maskey has said that figures released today by OFM/DFM regarding the scale of racist attacks 'are alarming in themselves, but only scratch the surface of the real problem'.

Mr Maskey said:

"The figures released today do not make good reading for those of us committed to seeing an inclusive and tolerant society created here. However, although these figures are alarming they only scratch the surface of the real problem.

"Many attacks on ethnic minority communities simply go unreported. On countless occasions I have spoken to members of various ethnic minority communities and time and again they tell of attacks and racial abuse which they simply tolerate and move on.

"Many within the ethnic minority communities have spoken of their frustration that in the face of what is a campaign of harassment and violence conviction rates remain virtually nil.

" All of us in political leadership have an obligation to address and tackle the problem of racism within our society. We need to make it clear to those who continue to intimidate and threaten ethnic minority communities that their actions are unacceptable, unwanted and must cease." ENDS

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