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Gdańsk residents queue to donate blood to stabbed mayor

Gdańsk residents queue to donate blood to stabbed mayor

People in the Polish city of Gdańsk have been queuing to donate blood to help their mayor, who remains in a critical condition in hospital after he was stabbed in the chest on stage at a charity concert on Sunday evening. Paweł Adamowicz, 53, who has held the post since 1998, had surgery overnight that…

People in the Polish city of Gdańsk have been queuing to donate blood to help their mayor, who remains in a critical condition in hospital after he was stabbed in the chest on stage at a charity concert on Sunday evening.

Paweł Adamowicz, 53, who has held the post since 1998, had surgery overnight that lasted more than five hours.

“Unfortunately we cannot yet say that Paweł Adamowicz’s condition is stable,” Dr Jerzy Karpinski, the director of the health department in Gdańsk’s regional administration, told Radio Gdańsk on Monday morning.

“It is still too early to say that, because the situation is very serious, and still isn’t sufficiently stabilised so as to be able to talk about a positive prognosis … the prognosis regarding his life and health is uncertain.”

Karpinski said Adamowicz was relatively young and healthy, but he had lost a lot of blood, which was depriving his body of oxygen. On Sunday night, Gdańsk’s regional centre for blood donation and blood medicine made an appeal on social media for blood donations from group O RhD negative.

Adamowicz was attacked while at a charity concert  on Sunday.

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Adamowicz was attacked while at a charity concert on Sunday. Photograph: Roman Jocher/EPA

The call resulted in crowds of residents queueing for hours to register at the centre and donate their blood in support of their mayor.

“Every time there is a call to donate blood, I come and do it,” one donor told the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza. “There’s no time to waste. If necessary, I would come in the middle of the night. It’s not a problem, we have to help each other.”

“I phoned my boss to let him know, he understood,” another donor told the newspaper. “It is an important impulse, to go and help. The queues are considerable, you can see that the appeal had its desired effect.”

It has emerged that the alleged assailant, named in the Polish press as Stefan W, a 27-year-old from Gdańsk with a record of violent crime, was released from prison last month. After the attack, the assailant told the crowd he blamed Adamowicz’s former political party for his jailing in 2014 for a series of violent attacks.

Adamowicz has long been considered a hate figure in far-right circles for his vigorous defence of migrants and refugees and LGBT rights, but no evidence has emerged that the attack was politically motivated.

Some in Poland are blaming the attack on a more general rise in social tensions and an increasing prevalence of hate speech in public discourse, with silent protests planned in a number of cities on Monday.

It is understood Adamowicz’s wife, Magdalena, was in the UK during the attack. The Polish government has sent a plane to London to bring her back to Poland.

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