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March 29, 2020
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Another victim of the German terrorist attack, a young man from Romania, is also from the Roma minority

22.2.2020 15:19
A young Roma man from Romania was one of the victims of the terrorist attack motivated by racism in Hanau, Germany on 19 February 2020. (Collage:  Romea.cz)
A young Roma man from Romania was one of the victims of the terrorist attack motivated by racism in Hanau, Germany on 19 February 2020. (Collage: Romea.cz)

A young Roma man from Romania was also among the victims of the recent terrorist attack motivated by racism in the German town of Hanau near Frankfurt. In the late evening hours of Wednesday, 19 February, a 43-year-old German man shot dead nine people who all had roots abroad.

News server Romea.cz previously reported that a 35-year-old Roma woman, a mother of two, was among those shot. Two of the nine fatalities, therefore, involve members of the Roma minority.

On Friday, 21 February the Romanian Foreign Ministry confirmed that a Romanian citizen had died in the attack. "The Foreign Affairs Ministry thoroughly condemns all violence and xenophobia," the ministry press release reads.

Gelu Duminica, director of the IMPREUNA organization in Romania, confirmed to news server Romea.cz that the Romanian citizen shot in the attack was from the Roma community. "The Romanian victim is also Roma. So two Roma victims [of the Hanau shooting]," Duminica told Romea.cz.

"With great sorrow I have ascertained that a Romanian citizen lost his life during the violent attacks in Hanau, Germany. My condolences to his family and loved ones at this time of suffering," Romanian President Klaus Iohannis tweeted.

According to Romanian media, the victim is a 23-year-old man from the municipality of Giurgiu who has been working legally in Germany for five years. Marian Pătulean, the mayor of Singureni, Romania, confirmed that to the media.

The young Romani victim is Pătulean's nephew. "Yes, it's true. His name is Vili Viorel Păun, he's my nephew, and he was 23 years old," the mayor told the Romanian media.

According to the mayor, his nephew was sitting in a car with Romanian registration when he was attacked in Hanau, and the license plate was the reason the xenophobic terrorist shot the young Roma man. "That bastard, the terrorist, when he saw him in a car with numbers from Romania, shot him," the mayor told the media, adding that the victim's parents are in shock.

"He was their only child, it's something unbelievable," Pătuleanu sadly told the Romanian media. Păun was the second Roma to fall victim to the attack.

As Romea.cz previously reported, 43-year-old Tobias Rathjen, a German, also shot dead a 35-year-old Romani woman, Mercedes K., who was a mother of two. The young woman was a citizen of Germany and also had Polish roots.

"The Central Council and all Roma and Sinti in Germany are mourning the murdered young woman, a mother of two. We are also holding all the victims of this right-wing terrorist attack in our thoughts," Romani Rose, chair of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, told the German media after the attack.

The Romani victim, Mercedes K., was killed by a gunshot wound to the chest. "I heard from relatives and friends that she was killed," German media quoted a friend of the murdered woman as saying.

"I didn't want to believe it, but then I saw the videos of her family weeping," the friend of Mercedes told the German media. "After the Holocaust, how can something so inhumane happen?"

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Extremism, Germany, Racism, shootings



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