Polish mayor stabbed while on stage during a charity event

Evarado Alatorre
Enero 14, 2019

The mayor of the Polish city of Gdansk has been seriously injured after being stabbed on stage at the country's biggest charity event, officials say.

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.

Shortly before the attack, Adamowicz had a shared a photo taken from the stage to his Instagram account, which showed hundreds of people gathered to take part in the annual Great Orchestra of Christmas event - a nationwide effort to raise cash for hospital equipment.

Acknowledging that they've had political differences with Adamowicz, President Andrzej Duda said that "today I am unconditionally with him and his loved ones, just as I hope all of us compatriots are".

London mayor Sadiq Khan also sent his best wishes via Twitter, writing: "Shocked to hear of the attack on Paweł Adamowicz, Mayor of Gdańsk, this evening".

Pawel Adamowicz, 53, was taken to hospital, where he is in a critical condition after five hours of surgery. Medical officials appealed for blood donations.

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Nearly seven hours after the assault, Stefaniak told reporters early Monday that "the patient is alive", triggering applause, but added that the mayor remained "in a very serious condition". "Civic Platform tortured me". Other Polish media said a knife was used in the attack.

Adamowicz has been mayor of Gdansk, a Baltic port city, since 1998. "Pawel, we are with you". He blamed what he described as an atmosphere of hate under the ruling Law and Justice party for the attack on the mayor. After leaving Civic Platform, he was re-elected to a sixth term as an independent candidate in the fall.

He is seen as a progressive voice and has supported LGBT rights and tolerance for minorities.

He also showed solidarity with the Jewish community when the city's synagogue had its windows broken a year ago, strongly denouncing the vandalism. "A great leader of his city and a true humanitarian".

Police in Poland later confirmed one man had ben arrested.

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