“It was midnight: I’d just finished my working shift. I was coming back by bike to the accommodation that the “Jobel” cooperative assigned me, when six Italian youngsters started throwing stones against me, close to the level crossing of the Vespucci seaside promenade. I stopped and I bled. I asked them why they were hitting me. Then, they got closer and attacked me while shouting racist phrases”. The testimony, published in local newspapers, has been given directly by the victim. His name is Mohamed, he is 19 years old and comes from Senegal. He arrived in Italy on 12 July 2015 by sea, landing in Sicily. He embarked in Libya after a period of violent detention, suffered by most migrants in the midst of general indifference. Before arriving in Libya, he travelled for two months, crossing the desert. Landed in Italy, he submitted a claim for protection, and now he is waiting for the reply of the Commission. Meanwhile, he has been taking part to an integration program run by the Jobel cooperative, which helped him find a job.
“Dirty nigger, come back to your home”, the six aggressors cried out while they were kicking him. “What have I done to you?” Mohamed asked during the assault. Fortunately, a man was passing there by car and he stopped, so the aggressors ran way. The man asked Mohamed if he needed help but he took his bike and returned home. On the newspaper Sanremo News, the Jobel cooperative educationist Claudia Regina told “He texted me about half past midnight, but unfortunately I read it only the following day at 5am”. Together with the president of the cooperative Alessandro Giulla, she accompanied the victim to the hospital, and then to the police to report the incident. He had a prognosis of ten days because of several injuries. Anyway, he suffered not only physical but also psychological harm. “This aggression traumatized him. He keeps asking why, he wants to know what he has done to deserve such a treatment”, Claudia Regina explains by asserting “what I think is that it was a planned ambush. What were six people doing hidden behind a bush on the Vespucci seaside promenade?”, Giulla claims: “Mohamed did not even have time to realize what was really happening. He is a quiet guy that was beaten up by six cowards only for his skin colour”.
Imperia police investigations are ongoing. Mohamed has already come back to work.
According to the Jobel cooperative employees, politicians are partly responsible for this aggression, since they incite hatred with their vehemence. This opinion is shared by the members of the Genoa Committee for Immigrants and against all forms of discrimination. Aleksandra Matikj, president of the Committee, affirms: “We want to tell Mohamed that in Liguria he is not alone. I still remember some similar words addressed to me and to other immigrants that …. ‘Foreigners steal Italians’ jobs and they must not enter Italy’, hateful words and actions ruining my life later … so I can understand very well how he feels now”. Matikj concludes by asking institutions to take up a position regarding the aggression, firmly condemning what happened.