From file: A beach in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Udine) | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA/ALBERTO ROCHIRA
From file: A beach in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Udine) | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA/ALBERTO ROCHIRA

A 35-year-old doctor of Cameroonian origins was targeted by racist insults by a patient in a hospital in the city of Lignano Sabbiadoro in northeastern Italy. The patient refused treatment due to the color of the doctor's skin. The incident has sparked public indignation on social media.

The patient reportedly hurled racist insults at the doctor, and refused treatment due to the color of his skin, on August 17 at a hospital emergency room in Lignano Sabbiadoro, a seaside city in the Udine province of northeastern Italy. The doctor, Andi Florin Nganso Fenjiep, filed a complaint with the police two days later on August 19.

The incident was discussed on social media and widely commented on, sparking numerous reactions of indignation including from local and national politicians.

Brawl in emergency room after insults

Assisted by the lawyer Cathy La Torre, the doctor filed a police report and confirmed what had been reported on social media: that he had been insulted by a patient who, refusing to be treated by him, also sparked a brawl in the emergency room, making intervention by the carabinieri necessary.

The verbal attacker was a 59-year-old man, P. B. A., who had previously been engaged in seasonal work in Lignano Sabbiadoro and is living in Treviso, where he is officially "without a fixed residence."

Security forces will report to the judicial authorities on the incident and it will be assessed by the Udine prosecutor's office.

Solidarity from associations and politicians

The incident has sparked indignation among the public in Italy and expressions of solidarity by associations, public bodies, and political representatives.

"The racist attack that Andi Nganso suffered while he was doing his job at the emergency room of Lignano Sabbiadoro should be firmly condemned and policies need to be put in place against ethic and race-based intolerance, which cannot be allowed in our society," stressed the coordinator of Italy's national office against racist discrimination, UNAR, Mattia Peradotto.

"Dr. Nganso did well to report the incident and proceed through legal means against his attacker. The institutions and UNAR will be at his side against all forms of hatred and racism. Thanks should be extended also to Cathy Latorre and all the lawyers who offered free legal advice. Racism should be fought against and is defeated through the efforts of all."


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