Italy: Man arrested on suspicion of killing Nigerian street vendor | Italy


An Italian has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a Nigerian street vendor, whose beating in broad daylight was reportedly filmed by passers-by and sparked outrage and protests.

Alika Ogorchukwu, 39, was killed in the center of Civitanova Marche on Friday afternoon.

A 32-year-old man from Salerno, in the Campania region, was arrested for murder and allegedly stole Ogorchukwu’s mobile phone.

According to Italian media, the alleged attacker reacted violently when Ogorchukwu said to his girlfriend: “Bella, can you buy some tissues or give me a euro? The man allegedly grabbed a crutch the vendor used to walk and punched him, police said.

The attack was recorded on several surveillance cameras.

“Witnesses will be heard and camera footage viewed to clarify the dynamics of the beating,” said Matteo Luconi, head of the flying squad at Macerata.

Hundreds of people from the Nigerian community and Italians, including Orgorchukwu’s wife, Charity Oriachi, demonstrated in Civitanova Marche on Saturday.

Protesters were reportedly angry that those who witnessed the attack did nothing to intervene, recording the event on their mobile phones instead.

The murder was condemned by far-right politician Francesco Acquaroli Brothers of Italy, president of the Marche region since September 2020.

“In addition to expressing our deep condolences to Alika’s family, it is also necessary to reiterate our strong condemnation of a senseless and unprecedented act of violence, which has no justification and which is damaging the entire Marche region. “, said Acquaroli.

The murder recalled when Luca Traini, a far-right extremist, injured six African migrants in a shooting in Macerata in February 2018, weeks before the general elections in which immigration was a central issue for the right-wing parties.

Italy is holding snap elections on September 25, which a coalition led by the Brothers of Italy and including Matteo Salvini’s far-right League and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia are expected to win. The fight against illegal immigration and the strengthening of national security are among the coalition’s priorities.

“It’s crazy to die this way, I hope the punishment is as big as possible,” Salvini said.

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Vinicio Albanesi, a priest and founder of a social welfare association, blamed the murder on “racism and anger that descends on the most fragile”. He told La Repubblica: “We live in a distrustful region, where black people are accepted only if they do the most humble work.”

Laura Boldrini, a centre-left Democratic Party politician, said: “A man was killed in the street in Civitanova Marche with brutal violence, while witnesses filmed the scene. Father Albanesi is right: racism, indifference and anger find an outlet in the weakest.

In the aftermath of the 2018 general election, Idy Diene, a Senegalese street vendor who had lived in Italy for more than two decades, died after being shot six times while selling his wares on Florence’s Vespucci Bridge.

His killer was Roberto Pirrone, a 65-year-old white Italian who told police he intended to kill himself. When he couldn’t muster the courage to kill himself, he said he shot the first target at random.


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