In Italy, a Nigerian street vendor died after being beaten in the middle of the street

“Four minutes of terror”. The arrest of a 32-year-old Italian was validated by the courts on Monday 1er August, when he was accused of beating a Nigerian street vendor to death last Friday. According to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Serawho quoted his lawyer, the suspect, who was immediately identified and arrested, “worked together, apologized and made it clear there was no racial issue”.

On Friday, a 39-year-old Nigerian, Alika Ogorchukwu, was beaten to death in the early afternoon in the center of Civitanova Marche, a tourist town in the Marche region, on Italy’s Adriatic coast. According to the police, the suspect attacked the street vendor after trying to sell to the latter and his girlfriend “pressure” handkerchiefs, before asking them “money”.

The Nigerian, disabled and with crutches, “we went and asked for money, he grabbed me”, the suspect’s friend explained to the Italian press. According to him, he quickly freed himself from his grip, the salesman’s behavior was not pushy or harassing. The couple went to a nearby clothing store, the suspect preferred to wait outside, said the 45-year-old woman.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers In Italy, the inexorable fall of the 5 Star Movement

A racist crime and indifference?

According to the footage of the attack that spread on social media and the media, the suspect rushed to Mr. “Four minutes of terror”according to Corriere della Sera. An autopsy will be conducted on Tuesday to determine the exact cause of death.

More than the deadly attack, it was also the carelessness with which it happened that shocked Italy. The attack happened in broad daylight, in a tourist town, and there are images, proof that passers-by witnessed the scene. The Italian newspaper determined, however, that there was a priori no crowd at that time. According to Courierfour people were at the scene of the attack: a tourist who filmed the scene in general, two elderly people and an Italian employee who called for help and appealed to the attacker to stop.

Read the column: Article reserved for our subscribers “If we do not respond to democratic concerns, the way is open to populism”

This lack of reaction was quickly put, by the Italian media, on racism. On Sunday, Italy’s former interior minister and leader of the far-right Northern League party, Matteo Salvini, said that his opponents from the center and the left have been instrumental in the death of the Nigerian[l’]charge, [ainsi que] the League and millions of Italians, who would be racist. Terrible ». The suspect himself defended himself from any racist motivation, his lawyer asked for psychiatric expertise to show, according to him, “inability to understand and will” – that is to say to realize the meaning of his actions or to adopt the attitudes dictated by the autonomous and responsible choices – of his client.

The region has been ruled since 2020 by a far-right party

Mr. Ogorchukwu’s family lawyer said he would oppose the request. “If the lack of understanding and the will is supposed, then it should be clarified if everything was done to avoid what happened. I wonder if [sa] mother, who [sa] guardian, living in Salerno, how he watches over him every day (…) ? Must be aware of all responsibilities. »

The attack came as Italian politicians began campaigning for early parliamentary elections on September 25. Mr. Salvini has made immigration and security his main campaign themes. The Marche region has been led since 2020 by Francesco Acquaroli, a member of the far-right Brothers of Italy party and who started the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement (MSI) party.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers Mario Draghi’s resignation opens the way for early elections in Italy

The archbishop of the diocese of Civitanova Marche announced that a tribute will be paid to street vendors during Sunday masses. The mayor of San Severino Marche, where Mr Ogorchukwu lives, his wife and a niece, while saying that the town will pay for the funeral. A fundraiser was also organized by the residents to help his widow.

The World with AP

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.