Published: Mon, January 14, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Polish mayor Pawel Adamowicz 'stabbed on stage' during major charity event

Polish mayor Pawel Adamowicz 'stabbed on stage' during major charity event

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.

Mr Adamowicz was a well-known political figure who has been mayor of Gdansk, a Baltic port city, for 20 years, they said.

He reportedly shouted that he had been wrongfully imprisoned under the previous government, led by the mayor's former party.

He has been mayor of Gdansk since 1998. It said the mayor was seen holding his belly.

Adamowicz has been mayor of Gdansk, whose population numbers around half a million, for two decades and the Civic Platform had supported his re-election in 2018 municipal elections.

After knifing the mayor several times, the man turned to the crowd with his arms raised triumphantly but was quickly tackled to the ground by security guards and arrested. Adamowicz was taken to hospital.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski called the attack "an act of inexplicable barbarity" as he commented on the mayor's serious condition.

As mayor, he has been a progressive voice, supporting LGBT rights and tolerance for minorities.

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".

Radio Gdansk reported that Adamowicz was stabbed in the area of his heart, but did not cite its source. He showed solidarity with the Jewish community when the city's synagogue had its windows broken past year, strongly denouncing the vandalism.

The president of the European Council Donald Tusk tweeted a message of support, writing: 'We are with you'.

"Despite differences in political opinion, I am unconditionally with him and his relatives. I pray for his swift recovery", the leader said.

Sunday's "Lights to Heaven" fundraiser, which was organised by the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, the country's most important charity, was part of a national drive to raise funds for the purchase of medical equipment and featured a colourful stage set-up including lights, smoke and pyrotechnics.

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