Monday, 11 July 2016

Widow of Nigerian man beaten to death in Italy granted refugee status

Italy debates how law must tackle racism as Chinyery Emmanuel is granted asylum after husband’s death

Emmanuel Chidi Namdi and his wife Chinyery Emmanuel.
Emmanuel Chidi Namdi and his wife, Chinyery Emmanuel. Photograph: Facebook

The wife of a Nigerian man beaten to death in Italy has been granted refugee status in Italy, as the country debates how society and lawmakers should respond to racism.
Italy’s interior ministry announced on Friday that Chinyery Emmanuel had been given asylum a day after her husband, Emmanuel Chidi Namdi, died from injuries sustained in the attack in Fermo, a small town in central Italy.
The couple had arrived in Europe from Libya last year, after reportedly fleeing the terrorist group Boko Haram in Nigeria, and were being hosted by the church community in Fermo.
They were walking in the town on Tuesday when an Italian man allegedly called Namdi’s wife a “monkey”. The episode ended violently with Namdi falling into a coma and dying in hospital the next day.
His wife has since been moved to alternative accommodation and is being cared for by a group of doctors and nuns. Speaking at a vigil for her husband, Chinyery Emmanuel said her life had been destroyed.
“God, where are you? Why do you leave me in this wicked world without Emmanuel? It’s very painful for me to stay,” she said.
An autopsy is due to be carried out on Friday and Namdi’s funeral is expected to take place on Sunday in the town’s cathedral.
A local man, Amedeo Mancini, 39, has been arrested. His lawyer, Francesco De Minicis, said Mancini felt pained and regretful about the incident.
De Minicis said: “He said that he’s not a fascist. He’s a very simple guy. He’s not studied … He’s not a well-off person.”
Paolo Calcinaro, the mayor of Fermo, said the town had a history of welcoming outsiders. He said: “This is a very calm place, from this point of view I’ve never come across racism. Now the community finds itself under the spotlight with negative publicity that is not justified.”
Recently church buildings have been hit by makeshift bombs, believed to be linked to the religious community hosting between 150 and 200 refugees and asylum-seekers.
An autopsy is due to be carried out on Friday and Namdi’s funeral is expected to take place on Sunday in the town’s cathedral.
A local man, Amedeo Mancini, 39, has been arrested. His lawyer, Francesco De Minicis, said Mancini felt pained and regretful about the incident.
De Minicis said: “He said that he’s not a fascist. He’s a very simple guy. He’s not studied … He’s not a well-off person.”
Paolo Calcinaro, the mayor of Fermo, said the town had a history of welcoming outsiders. He said: “This is a very calm place, from this point of view I’ve never come across racism. Now the community finds itself under the spotlight with negative publicity that is not justified.”
Recently church buildings have been hit by makeshift bombs, believed to be linked to the religious community hosting between 150 and 200 refugees and asylum-seekers.
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