Europe

Polish people react to the murder of Arkadiusz Jozwik

Flowers outside takeaway
Image caption Harlow's MP said the attack had left members of the Polish community feeling "incredibly scared and upset"

People in Harlow and beyond have been expressing their shock at the murder of Polish national Arkadiusz Jozwik.

A group of teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of killing Mr Jozwik in a possible hate crime.

As yet there has been no proven link to the incident being a hate crime.

Here, Polish people give their reaction to the murder in a possible hate crime.


Civil servant Artur Tondera, 34, from Warsaw

"I like to be kept informed of what is happening in England, as my sister lives there.

I heard about the murder from articles I read online.

I see it as a part of something bigger than this one incident.

I don't think as a Pole I feel threatened - it was an offence on a human being.

You see acts of violence by reckless people in different places.

But, right now, the agenda of immigration and racial issues are highlighted in the media and form part of the political language.

The incident would not probably be seen as racial if it was not part of the current racial discourse.

People can talk about immigration being a bad thing and then suddenly someone is silly enough to believe that and reacts in a negative way.

I hope this act of violence doesn't become a common occurrence."

Image caption The Polish ambassador to the UK, Arkady Rzegocki (left), addressed the media alongside Harlow MP Robert Halfon. Mr Rzegocki said his country was "shocked, but we are also thankful for local support since the attack".

Ivona Schulz-Nalepka, the director of the Harlow Polish School in Essex

"Some people in the Polish community are frightened about what happened.

This is the first time something as serious as this has happened in Harlow, so, of course, we are worried.

The Polish society was shaken upon learning about Arek's [Arkadiusz Jozwik] death.

We do hope that such a tragic act will not happen again and that the offenders will be taken to court and punished."

Image copyright SWNS.com
Image caption Arkadiusz Jozwik died two days after being attacked

A minute's silence is planned for Saturday at the spot where Mr Jozwik was attacked, as well as a march.

Organisers are hoping the event will be a show of solidarity among Polish and British people.

British Poles Initiative co-ordinator George Byczynski said: "We want there to be Polish and British flags to show peace and understanding.

"Local people are gravely worried, and we want to show that a small group of thugs won't impact on the good relations Polish people have with British people."

By Andree Massiah, BBC UGC and Social News team

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