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Racist threats deeply disturbing

8 September, 2004


South Belfast Sinn Féin Assembly member Alex Maskey has said that reports of planned attacks on ethnic minority communities over the 9/11 anniversary are 'deeply disturbing'.

Mr Maskey said:

" The PSNI appear to be releasing the minimum of information regarding the source or the seriousness of these threats. I have spoken to people who work within ethnic minority communities and they too are somewhat in the dark about the nature or extent of this particular threat.

" However what we do know is that there has been a sustained and organised campaign of violence and intimidation against members of the ethnic minority communities, particularly here in Belfast. Many of these attacks have been carried out by unionist paramilitaries.

" In the face of this many unionist politicians have given succour to those carrying out racist attacks. Only this week a prominent DUP councillor from Ballymena, Robin Sterling made openly racist remarks and no action or even comment is forthcoming from the DUP leadership.

" Given today's statement by the PSNI it is important that politicians and community leaders reassure those people from ethnic minority communities that they are safe and that they are welcome. Likewise a message must be sent to those carrying out racist attacks that their behaviour is unacceptable and unwanted." ENDS

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