Nigerian refugee who fled Boko Haram killed in Italy
Published 07/07/2016 | 20:01
A man has been arrested after a Nigerian asylum-seeker who had fled the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram was killed in Italy.
Emmanuel Chidi Namdi was attacked in the north-central town of Fermo on Tuesday when he tried to defend his wife after the suspect, an Italian who is described as a football hooligan, insulted her with a racial slur, local officials said.
Amedeo Mancini is in custody while prosecutors decide whether to charge him with murder.
Friends of Mancini contended that he had to fight back because the Nigerian man tried to attack the Italian after his wife was insulted, according to some Italian news reports.
Other witnesses said the husband was struck, first with a street sign ripped out of the pavement and then kicked, when he sought to defend his wife, but did not strike first.
Interior Minister Angelino Alfano visited the town on Thursday and told reporters that there was the possibility any murder charge could be stiffened by the aggravating factor of racial hatred in the case against Mancini.
Mr Alfano insisted that Italy as a whole welcomes migrants.
"Italy isn't represented by Amedeo Mancini," Mr Alfano said.
"Fermo and Italy continue to champion welcome" for migrants and asylum-seekers, he added.
The Nigerian was beaten and fell into a coma, a local priest involved with assisting asylum-seekers said. He died in a hospital on Wednesday.
The man and his wife, both Christians, fled after Boko Haram attacked their village church, killing two of the man's relatives, Fermo church officials said.
After a harsh land journey in Africa, they took a smuggler's boat from the Libyan coast. They were rescued at sea and eventually settled in Fermo, where several parishes have been helping migrants.
Explosive devices were recently found outside four Fermo churches.
Mr Alfano said it was unclear if anger against churches for helping migrants might have played a role in those incidents under investigation.
At an evening vigil on Wednesday, the widow, identified by her first name, Chimiary, cried out to her late husband: "Why do you leave me in this wicked world?"
Italian president Sergio Mattarella asked that she be given all available assistance.
Hundreds of thousands of migrants, rescued at sea, have reached Italy in the last few years. Many want to head to relatives in northern Europe.
The regional Northern League party has railed against migrants, blaming them for crime.