Friday 2 December 2016

Acid attack on car of marriage equality campaigner Riyadh Khalaf

Published 06/06/2015 | 22:27

Damage caused to two cars outside the home of Riyadh Khalaf
Damage caused to two cars outside the home of Riyadh Khalaf

A marriage equality activist believes acid was poured over his and his parents cars because they publicly campaigned for a yes vote.

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Riyadh Khalaf parents are putting security cameras up outside their home in Bray, Co Wicklow, after the incident which happened over night.

The radio presenter said he woke this morning up to find that someone had poured a corrosive substance over two cars on their driveway.

Parts of the cars have melted or disintegrated, he said.

"It was a malicious act on my family alone," Riyadh said.

"The only reason for this can be down to our recent work for equality and how public it was.

Riyadh Khalaf
Riyadh Khalaf
Riyadh Khalaf

"My car was given to me by my grandmother after she passed away so it hurts to see the damage.

"It's the last part of her I have."

Read more: WATCH: ‘I want to share love with a life partner’ : Viral video shows what marriage equality means to young Irish man

During the same-sex marriage referendum campaign Riyadh spoke out internationally about being gay in Ireland and how he came out to family and friends as a teenager.

The YouTuber also made videos which went viral - including one to Westboro Baptist Church - and appeared on MSNBC and CNN in the United States and on the BBC and Guardian online in Britain.

His parents Sam and Lorraine Khalaf also appeared alongside him a booklet promoting a Yes vote, which was delivered to homes nationwide.

Read more: WATCH: ‘I want to share love with a life partner’ : Viral video shows what marriage equality means to young Irish man

"Gardai who came out to the house believed the only reason this happened was due to the work I did and my family did for the yes equality campaign," continued Riyadh, a content producer and radio reporter for Spin 103.8.

"Obviously somebody has figured out where we live, which is scary and dangerous.

"The timing of this is funny though. Why did it not happen in the lead up to the vote or directly after?

"I think maybe it took whoever did this between then and now to actually find out where we were in Bray."

Read more: Video: Gay Irish man calls Westboro Baptist Church for advice on how to get into heaven

Riyadh said this had to be a premeditated attack by someone who went out to by the acid like substance and find their home.

"At the end of the day cars, and paint on cars, are just material possessions," he added.

"We won (the referendum), we have equality in to law, and Ireland is a more loving and inclusive place

"A small group of sick individuals will not change us or what we have all achieved. If this is the cost for a new Ireland then it is a tiny price to pay."

Read more: Riyadh Khalaf

Gardai in Bray are investigating.

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