Refugee group chairman urges action after assault


The chairman of the African Refugee Network has called for more action from the Government and the Garda to combat racism after he was assaulted in Dublin city.

Mr Nasser Diaby from Zaire was beaten up and racially abused along with his girlfriend on Parnell Street last week.

He said one or two people from ethnic minorities are attacked in Dublin daily, and the victims include foreign students and workers as well as asylum seekers and refugees.

The African Refugee Network, which offers advice, counselling and training to asylum seekers and refugees, is receiving reports that people are no longer going out at night for fear of being attacked, he said.

"The Government and the gardai should be doing more," said Mr Diaby, a technical agent with Xerox who has lived in Ireland for four years. "The antiracist training by the gardai should include Africans and we can tell them what is happening to us and the cases, most of which are not being followed. The Government should be saying all time openly that it is against this type of thing and people should stop it."

Mr Diaby was attacked last week while he was outside a shop speaking to his mother on his mobile phone at about 7.30 p.m.

Two men walked past him and shouted abuse including "nigger", "monkey" and "go home". Mr Diaby said he asked the men why they made these remarks and they began to push him. He tried to enter a shop to get away from them, but they kicked him in the back. He fell and dropped his mobile phone which broke. Then three other men joined the two attackers in kicking and punching Mr Diaby. His girlfriend intervened and she too was attacked.

"A lot of people who have been attacked don't know their rights," said Mr Diaby. "I know mine and I'm letting people know that this has been going on and on."

Mr Diaby said he reported the assault to Fitzgibbon Street Garda station and two assailants were later picked up. A Garda spokesman said no one has been charged. Mr Diaby is due to make a full statement this week, according to gardai.

"I want to go to court with this problem because I made a complaint and I want people to know there is a law. I want these people to be prosecuted under the incitement to hatred laws so other people who are racist will know there is a law in the country protecting me as a member of a minority group," said Mr Diaby.