image

Poland

Polish mayor Pawel Adamowicz dies after being stabbed at charity event in Gdansk

  • The alleged assailant, identified as 27-year-old Stefan W from Gdansk, has a record of violent crime and was released from prison last month
PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 January, 2019, 10:25pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 January, 2019, 5:48am

Paweł Adamowicz, the mayor of the Polish city of Gdansk, has died after he was stabbed in the chest on stage at a charity concert on Sunday evening.

The 53-year-old, who had held the post since 1998, had been in a critical condition in hospital having had surgery overnight that lasted more than five hours.

“We couldn’t win,” said Polish health minister Lukasz Szumowski. Szumowski said the doctors who were fighting to save Adamowicz’s life told him the mayor died.

Polish mayor Pawel Adamowicz fights for life after man with knife stabs him in the heart at charity event

The alleged assailant, named in the Polish press as Stefan W, a 27-year-old from Gdansk with a record of violent crime, was released from prison last month, it emerged on Monday.

After the attack, the assailant told the crowd he blamed Adamowicz’s former political party for his jailing in 2014 for a series of violent attacks.

Adamowicz has long been considered a hate figure in far-right circles for his vigorous defence of immigrants, refugees and LGBT rights, but no evidence has emerged that the attack was politically motivated.

Some in Poland are blaming the attack on a more general rise in social tensions and an increasing prevalence of hate speech in public discourse, with silent protests planned in a number of cities on Monday.

Adamowicz’s wife, Magdalena, was believed to be in Britain during the attack. The Polish government has sent a plane to London to take her back to Poland.