A small Italian town in Tuscany became the setting for aggression against an immigrant late last week, when a Gambian national managed to escape injury despite facing gunshots and return home to a parish that hosts him and another 100 migrants.
On Aug. 2 around 11 pm, Buba Ceesay, 24, from Gambia, was taking his usual evening run near the parish, when two people on bicycles approached him shouting racist slurs.
And now the two Italian youths who shot blanks at the Gambian man, it turns out, are just 13 years of age.
An English online newspaper which covers several European countries, The Local, reported the boys, who cannot be charged with a crime as they are below the age of 14, told police they did it for fun, and that the act of aggression was not racially or political motivated.
But their victim, 24-year-old Buba Ceesay, told an Italian newspaper La Repubblica that his attackers shouted racial abuse at him, calling him “bastard” and “black”, before shooting the blanks.
Ceesay told reporters he was headed down the street with his back to the boys when he heard the shouts, followed by the sound of two gunshots. He gave chase, but the two managed to escape.
“People always talk rubbish like this, but I never expected they would shoot a gun,” Ceesay said.
“It’s too much.”
The Gambian national, who is staying in the town as a guest of Vicofaro parish priest Don Massimo Biancalani, showed one of the cartridge casings to the priest, who then accompanied Ceesay to the local police station to file a report.
Police used CCTV footage to identify the minors and received a confession after searching their homes and finding a blank gun and approximately 200 blank cartridges.
Racist attacks have been on the rise in Italy in recent months. Two weeks ago 22-year-old discus-thrower Daisy Osakue, who was born in Italy to Nigerian parents and represents Italy in international athletics competitions, was assaulted in a drive-by attack that left her with a black eye.
Interior Minister Matteo Salvini was criticised for saying the attack on Osakue was not racially motivated.
The opposition to Italy’s current populist administration have accused it of stoking hatred and creating a climate of intolerance.
Source: The Local and Crux