venerdì 18 aprile 2014

Pisans march for slain Bangladeshi waiter

Zakir Hossain beaten to death on the street by four suspects

(ANSA) - Florence, April 18 - Shops lowered their shutters or turned off their lights in signs of mourning Friday as some 1,000 people marched through downtown Pisa in memory of Bangladeshi waiter Zakir Hossain, who was beaten to death on the street Sunday night. Police on Thursday released CCTV footage of the fatal attack, in which Hossain was hassled by a group of four men and then assaulted by one of them.

The four suspects fled the scene aboard a car, and later attempted to attack two more people in two different central Pisa locations, police said. They have been identified as Tunisian national Hamrouni Hamza, 27, who threw the fatal punch and stands accused of voluntary manslaughter. He flew out of Milan's Malpensa airport on Tuesday evening.

Italian national Simone Tabbita, 22, and a 16-year-old Tunisian who is a relative of Hamza have been charged with aiding and abetting the elder Hamza. Another 20-year-old who was part of the group is not being charged because he did not participate in the assault and did not intervene to free Hamza when witnesses tried to stop the attack on Hossain.

The march was led by Pisa Mayor Marco Filippeschi, Bangladeshi Ambassador Shahdat Hossain, and the mayor of Cascina, where the four attackers live. "This act of senseless violence is astonishing for its gratuity and utter absence of respect for others," said Casina Mayor Alessio Antonelli. Filippeschi praised the Bangladeshi community's "intelligent and positive attitude" in the face of this attack on one of their own. "But we were not surprised, given the more than positive relations with the city, which a criminal act cannot undermine".

The ambassador thanked "Pisa for the solidarity and the investigation". Other participants included politicians from the center-left Democratic Party and center-right Forza Italia, as well as smaller leftist parties Communist Refoundation and Left Ecology and Liberty (SEL), trade union representatives, and leftist intellectual Adriano Sofri.

The Bangladeshi community asked everyone to observe a minute of silence to "pray for Zakir's soul and to invoke forgiveness for his aggressors". The march stopped by the spot where Hossain was killed, where people have been leaving flowers since Thursday, and ended at the office of the prefect, who came out and shook hands with Bangladeshi community leaders. 

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