Big turnout at anti-racism rally in Derry city centre

The Cairo 24/7 Shop at Strand Road, Derry. DER1615MC069
The Cairo 24/7 Shop at Strand Road, Derry. DER1615MC069

Scores of people have attended an anti-racism rally in Derry on Friday to protest against an attack on an Egyptian man in the city centre.

Tharwat Elshahat needed three stitches to his face after the assault by a number of men outside the shop in which he works at Strand Road on Tuesday.

Two men, aged 20 and 41, were later arrested and released on police bail pending further enquiries.

31-year-old Mr Elshahat, who has lived in Derry for three years, said he was assaulted with a crutch before being punched.

Mr. Elshahat said he had not experienced any previous trouble in his time living in Derry and would not be driven out of the city as a result of the attack.

Speakers at the protest rally on Friday condemned the attack and said racism had no place in society.

Eamonn McCann, one of the organisers of the rally, said the attack was “reprehensible”.

“We have racists in Derry but Derry is not a racist city,” he said.

“I think the overwhelming majority of people in Derry would thoroughly disown what happened here on Tuesday night,” added Mr. McCann.