Italian politicians denounce the street murder of an African immigrant | News | DW
The mayor of an Italian town on Saturday condemned the killing of a Nigerian vendor in broad daylight in an apparent dispute over a woman.
Alika O. was beaten and killed in the Adriatic coastal town of Civitanova Marche as onlookers filmed the incident with no apparent attempt to intervene, local media reported.
Mayor Tommaso Claudio Corvatta blasted what he said was a “climate of intolerance” that “has been raging in the city for some time now”.
What do we know about the murder?
Alika O. was selling goods at around 2 p.m. local time (1200 UTC/GMT) on the city’s main street on Friday when her attacker grabbed a crutch the vendor was using to walk and punched him, police said.
According to media reports, the victim had asked the attacker’s girlfriend to buy her scarves or give her change.
Video footage of the attack shows the attacker then wrestling the victim on the sidewalk as the victim fights back.
Eventually, Alika O. was subdued by the weight of her attacker.
Although no bystanders attempted to physically intervene, police were called and attempted to administer aid to the victim, police chief Matteo Luconi told Italian news channel Sky. TG24.
Video footage taken later shows the victim lying motionless with a white sheet covering his entire body.
Police used street cameras to track the assailant’s movements and later arrested a man.
He was identified as Filippo F., 32, and was suspected of murder and theft after he was also accused of stealing the victim’s phone.
Filippo F.’s girlfriend told police her partner got angry because the salesman insisted they buy something.
Daniel Amanza, who heads the ACSIM association for immigrants in the province of Macerata, in the Marche region, said the victim called the attacker’s girlfriend “bella”, the Italian word for “beautiful”.
“That compliment killed him,” Amanza told the Associated Press news agency. “The tragic fact is that there were a lot of people nearby. They filmed saying ‘stop’, but no one moved to separate them.”
Who was Alika O.?
Alika O. was selling handkerchiefs and small accessories on a main shopping street in Civitanova Marche, a town about 240 kilometers (150 miles) northeast of Rome.
Local media reported that he lost his job as a laborer due to mobility issues after he was hit by a car while riding his bicycle. He needed a crutch to walk.
The 39-year-old was married and had an 8-year-old son. He had been in Italy for about a decade, according to local media.
What was the reaction to the murder?
The killing comes as Italy campaigns for elections on September 25, in which the right-wing coalition has already made immigration an issue.
Italy’s acting health minister, Roberto Speranza, denounced the lack of help given to the victim, saying that “indifference is as serious and unjustifiable as violence”.
“The murder of Alika O. is appalling,” Enrico Letta, leader of the left-leaning Democratic Party, wrote on Twitter. “Unprecedented ferocity. Widespread indifference. There can be no justification.”
Far-right leaders Matteo Salvini and Giorgia Meloni, who have come out openly against immigration, also denounced the murder and hoped that “the sentence will be as long as possible” for the murderer.
Several people, including members of the Nigerian community, gathered in Civitanova Marche and nearby Ancona on Saturday to demand justice.
mm/fb (AP, EFE)
Editor’s Note: Deutsche Welle follows the German Press Code, which emphasizes the importance of protecting the privacy of suspected criminals or victims and requires us to refrain from revealing full names in such cases.