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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 September, 2004, 19:40 GMT 20:40 UK
Racism 'common' in city - claim
Kalan Kawa Karim
Mr Karim recently married and was planning to return to Iraq

The family and friends of an Iraqi man murdered in Swansea say racist abuse and violence is common in the city.

Sarkat Junad said he and other Iraqi Kurds are considering leaving Wales' second city after the race-hate killing of 29-year-old Kalan Kawa Karim.

A vigil in the city is planned for this weekend in protest at the murder.

But minority ethnic support groups say the racism problem in Swansea is no worse than anywhere else, although lessons can be learnt from the tragedy.

They don't know anything about foreigners and they don't want to know - that's the bigger problem
Sarkat Junad
South Wales Police have said they are treating Mr Karim's killing as a racist incident.

But Mr Junad said he was not surprised by the murder, because Iraqi Kurds in Swansea have had so many problems with racial abuse.

He said every single one of the estimated 180-strong Iraqi Kurdish community had been the victim of racist abuse.

He also claimed that he had been the victim of two assaults outside his home.

He said: "If I compare it to London, Swansea would be like east Europe.

"They don't know anything about foreigners and they don't want to know - that's the bigger problem.

"They don't want to know us, the don't want to communicate with us. They don't want to know why we are here."

Sarkat Junad
Mr Junad said every Iraqi Kurd in Swansea has been racially abused

And Mr Karim's uncle, Tahseen Shaho, who came to the UK two years ago like his nephew to escape persecution, said he was attacked by three white men outside his home.

He said the men threatened to kill his children unless he returned to where he came from and they also demanded money, which he gave them, because he feared for his family's safety if he did not.

Mr Shaho, said he was beaten up in front of his children, who were then aged four and five, and they still had nightmares about the incident.

He said: "I don't want to stay here but I don't know where to go."

But Naz Malik, chief executive of All Wales Ethnic Minority Association, said: "My experience certainly is that there are racists living in Swansea but that doesn't make Swansea a racist city.

Police seal off the scene of the attack
Mr Karim died after he was punched in the back of the head

"Even one racist incident is one too many. We do have Anti Social Behaviour Orders, so why haven't they been issued?

"We are going to challenge the racists - as we have done in the past - we're not complacent in Swansea but at the same time we do have a good relationship with the best part of the city."

Officers are still examining CCTV footage taken in the busy Kingsway area of Swansea at the time of the assault, outside The Potter's Wheel pub, at around 0130 BST on Monday.

Witnesses have described the attacker as white about 5'7 in height, of stocky build and as in his early twenties.

He had short, light-coloured hair. He was wearing light coloured t-shirt and blue jeans.

The second and the third man are both of similar ages as the first man and with short dark hair.

Anyone with information is asked to call the incident room at Cockett Police Station on 01792 456 999 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.




SEE ALSO:
Race murder victim is named
07 Sep 04  |  South West Wales
Witness appeal in Iraqi murder
07 Sep 04  |  Wales


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