Monday, 22 July, 2019

Polish mayor Pawel Adamowicz 'stabbed on stage' at charity event

Gdansk's Mayor Pawel Adamowicz speaks with people as he collects money for the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity in Gdansk Poland Polish mayor Pawel Adamowicz 'stabbed on stage' during major charity event
Deanna Wagner | 14 January, 2019, 13:09

Mayor of Gdansk, one of Poland's largest cities, Pawel Adamowicz, has been stabbed at a charity event, Onet, the largest Polish web portal, reported on Sunday.

Gdansk Mayor Pawel Adamowicz was attacked with a sharp tool during the "Light to Heaven" charity event, charity spokeswoman Magdalena Skorupka-Kaczmarek, told Polish news agency PAP.

Doctors resuscitated Adamowicz on the spot and then transported him to Medical University of Gdansk, where he underwent five hours of surgery, said Dr. Tomasz Stefaniak.

Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski said the attack was "an act of inexplicable barbarism".

The attacker reportedly shouted that he had unfairly spent time in prison when the previous Civic Platform-led government was in power, according to TVN24.

Polish media reported that a number of political officials and Gdansk Archbishop Slawoj Leszek Glod went to the hospital during the operation.

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Police said the suspect was a 27-year-old who was recently released from prison where he had served a term for bank robberies.

Earlier he boasted on Facebook that he'd raised £5,000 for the event.

Polish President Andrzej Duda said he was informed "doctors succeeded in reanimating the heart of the seriously injured Mayor Pawel Adamowicz and there is hope, but his condition is very hard". He was part of the democratic opposition born in that city under the leadership of Lech Walesa during the 1980s.

European Council President Donald Tusk, a former Polish prime minister who co-founded Civil Platform and is from Gdansk, tweeted: "Let's all pray for Mayor Adamowicz".

The mayor, who has held the position since 1998, is seen as progressive has and shown support for LGBT rights and tolerance for minorities. "I pray for his return to health and full strength". "Pawel, we are with you".

The stabbing, during an event that raises money for children's hospitals, has shocked Poland, the BBC's Adam Easton in Warsaw reports.