A 65-year-old African man, whose home in Belfast was pelted with paint in a racist attack, says he no longer feels safe in his own house.
Adu Kyeremateng, from Ghana, said he feels “threatened” and wants “to get out” following what the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) are calling a hate crime. He said he no longer feels safe in his home, at Townsend Terrace in the loyalist Shankill area.
The former security guard, who lives alone, woke on Sunday morning to the strong smell of paint. He found thick white paint coating his front door, both front windows and his driveway.
He told the Belfast Telegraph, “I felt very bad, very frightened, and very scared.
"I have to go to the Housing Executive to tell them I can't live in an environment of fear.
"I feel that my life has been threatened here, and I want to get out."
It could take the authorities weeks to find Kyeremateng somewhere new to live, but he said he has nowhere else to go.
"I am on my own. Where can I go? There's nowhere to move to," he said. "I can't go to a hotel because that costs money. It's scary, but what can I do?”, said Kyeremateng.
"Maybe this night they are coming with guns? I don't know.”
Speaking the Guardian, Kyeremateng said: “I can’t go on like that. I haven’t done anything to anybody and I don’t have conflict with anybody. I have a right to live in peace without being threatened by anybody so I’m going to see houses I could live in tomorrow. I just don’t want to risk it.”
He told the newspaper that he had done nothing to single himself out for this attack. He said “I live here peacefully.
“I don’t see why people would do such a thing in the 21st century. People must have the right to live anywhere they want, and people have the right to live in peace without resistance from others.”
Brian Kingston, from the Democratic Unionist Party, said Kyeremateng should stay in his house.
He said, “If he left, those responsible would feel they got what they no doubt wanted. Adu should be able to live there where he is.
“We are not living in a lawless anarchy where people could do this and not be brought to justice. The message must go out strongly that this sort of action will be punished."
Kyeremateng, who has lived in Belfast for eight years, said this was not the first time he was made a target due to his race.
He told the Belfast Telegraph, “In October, a guy confronted me in the street and asked what I was doing here. He told me he hoped I wouldn't be here for long.
"That time was very bad, but this is worse. It's horrifying.
"I don't know why a pensioner would be subjected to this treatment."
According to the police the number racist attacks in Northern Ireland is on the rise. They also noted that most of these attacks are taking place in loyalist areas.
In June 2014 the annual benchmark report on human rights and racial equality, carried out by the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities, revealed that there were 982 racist incidents during the period 2013 to 2014, compared with 750 incidents during the previous period.