The mayor of the northern Polish city of Gdańsk, Paweł Adamowicz, was stabbed on Sunday evening in an apparent assassination attempt in front of thousands of people during a charity concert.
Adamowicz, who has served as mayor of Gdańsk since 1998, was resuscitated at the scene and rushed to a nearby hospital where he underwent five hours of surgery. Doctors described his condition as “critical” and “serious”.
One of the surgeons, Dr Tomasz Stefaniak, said Adamowicz suffered a “serious wound to the heart, a wound to the diaphragm and to the internal organs” and had needed a huge amount of blood. Gdansk is holding a blood collection for Adamowicz on Monday and a rally against violence is also planned.
Adamowicz is a powerful liberal voice in a country that has been governed by the rightwing Law and Justice party since 2015. He is best known in Poland and internationally as a staunch supporter of LGBT rights and the rights of migrants and refugees during a period of rising anti-migrant sentiment. “I am a European so my nature is to be open,” Adamowicz told the Guardian in 2016. “Gdańsk is a port and must always be a refuge from the sea.”
My report for the Guardian can be found here.