No escape

What was that we were saying about racism and abuse and hatred and violence?

In Fermo, Italy on Tuesday:

A Nigerian man who had recently fled to Europe to escape Boko Haram militants was beaten to death on the streets of Italy this week as he tried to defend his wife against racist abuse.

Emmanuel Chidi Namdi, 36, and his wife Chimiary, 24, were walking through the north-central Italian town of Fermo on Tuesday when a man called Chimiary a “monkey” and tried to grab her, according to local priest Vinicio Albanesi, a friend of the couple.

Namdi intervened, and the resulting fight left him in a coma. He was pronounced dead on Wednesday.


Amedeo Mancini, a 38-year-old Italian man who is part of an “ultras” gang of extremist soccer fans, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of killing Namdi. Mancini told investigators that he’d insulted the couple because he thought they were stealing a car, and he claimed that he’d acted in self defense after Namdi attacked him, HuffPost Italy reported.

But Chimiary told the priest that the attacker had bludgeoned her husband with a road sign and continued to beat him as he lay unconscious on the ground, according to HuffPost Italy.

Read the story of what they went through in Nigeria and then on the escape to Italy and then when they got there, if you want to break your heart. Watch the video of their wedding, performed despite their lack of the documents necessary for a legal marriage.

Namdi’s death this week inspired an outpouring of condolences from officials and supporters around Italy. It also heaped scrutiny on the anti-immigrant backlash flaring up across the continent.

“Today the government is in Fermo with Father Vinicio and local institutions in memory of Emmanuel. Against hate, racism and violence,” Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi tweeted early Thursday.

Fermo Mayor Paul Calcinaro said Namdi’s death was “like a nightmare” and condemned the “creeping racism that cannot and must not find space in any way in our city.”

While the town of 40,000 has overwhelmingly welcomed migrants and refugees, there have been pockets of anti-immigrant sentiment. Several churches hosting refugees have been targeted in bomb attacks in recent months.

Trajectory: bad.

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