GDANSK / WARSAW (Reuters) – Pawel Adamowicz, liberal mayor of the Polish city of Gdansk, died on Monday after being wounded by a former convict who rushed to the scene when he was injured. one of the biggest charitable events in Poland.
Thousands of people gathered in Polish cities to mourn the death of Adamowicz, mayor of Gdansk for 20 years and marrying liberal causes, including offering refuge to migrants in contradiction with the conservative nationalist government of Poland.
"We could not win," Health Minister Lukasz Szumowski told reporters via private television channel TVN. The doctors operated Adamowicz for five hours, the official PAP news agency reported.
Polish authorities have said that the day of Adamowicz 's funeral would be a day of national mourning.
Television footage showed thousands of people preparing for commemorative vigils, including in Gdansk, at the heart of the 1980s solidarity movement, which played a key role in the end of the communist regime, as well as in Poznan and in Warsaw, the capital.
Adamowicz was assaulted while participating in the annual Christmas Charity Grand Orchestra, which raises funds to fund medical equipment in hospitals. The head of the association resigned soon after the announcement of the death of Adamowicz, 53 years old.
Television footage of the attack showed a man shouting "Adamowicz is dead!" As he rushed to the scene and stabbed the mayor, who collapsed on the floor.
Speaking on the scene before his arrest, the attacker accused the former mayor's party of putting him in jail, where he was allegedly tortured.
The attacker was identified by the Polish authorities as being Stefan, 27 years old. He was released last month from jail where he served five and a half years in prison for being sentenced in 2014 for attempted robbery at a bank. His full name has so far been retained.
Without any other source cited, PAP stated that the man had already been treated in a prison hospital for schizophrenia.
By the way, the police tweeted late Monday that a 72-year-old Warsaw man had been arrested after threatening to call a welfare center claiming that the next to be killed was President Andrzej Duda.
The event in which Adamowicz was murdered has raised more than one billion zlotys over 27 years, but has been criticized by the ruling party, the ruling party in Poland (PiS), in because of its liberal philosophy, including its old slogan "Do what you want". .
"The demons are waking up, something terrible is happening, with the silent permission of the leaders," said Gerard Projs, a 79-year-old pensioner, at Adamowicz's death scene.
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Duda, an ally of the PiS, called for unity in the face of violence, saying that many Poles were united despite their political differences by "their will to do good".
Adamowicz is distinguished by his initiatives to encourage migrants to seek refuge in the Baltic coastal city and by supporting a protest campaign to defend the rule of law in Poland against what the activists consider efforts by the PiS to strengthen the political control of the judiciary. other bodies.
Adamowicz is one of Poland's oldest mayors. He has been in Gdansk since 1998. In the 2018 regional elections, he won 65% of the vote.
Other reports by Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk, Anna Koper, Malgorzata Wojtunik, Pawel Goraj and Marcin Goclowski; Edited by Mark Heinrich