Mohamed Lamin Dramé, the 16-year-old refugee from Senegal who was shot dead by a policeman on 8 August in Dortmund, has been buried in his home country. The story of broken dream of a young African refugee
Repatriation of the mortal remain
The death of Mouhamed Lamine Dramé has caused great consternation in Germany. The dreams of a teenager were shattered in a short time. Last Friday, the mayor of the city of Dortmund, Thomas Westphal, took part in the funeral prayers in the courtyard of the Abu Bakr mosque in Dortmund, where he deplored the the tragic accident. Mr Westphal assured that all the light will be shed on this tragedy which moves us all.
The funeral of teenager Mamadou Lamine Dramé, scheduled for Monday was cancelled due to the diplomatic intervention of the Senegalese embassy, which opposed his burial in Germany. Following negotiations between the Senegalese embassy and the municipal administration of Dortmund, the remains of the teenager were transported to Senegal on 18 August. Germany bore the costs of the repatriation.
The body of the deceased arrived in the late afternoon at Dakar-Diamniadio airport. From there, the funeral procession went to the village of Ndiaffate in the Kaolack region, where the deceased was buried as requested by his family.
The young Dramé had arrived in Germany in April 2022 as an unaccompanied 16-year-old refugee. He had only been in Dortmund for a few days before the dramatic confrontation with the police on 8 August 2022, when he was shot by a policeman.
The results of the autopsy and official investigations will determine the exact age of the deceased and also whether the deceased was by chance under the influence of drugs, alcohol or medication etc.
It seems that Dramé was severely traumatised after his odyssey at sea – as is the case for many young refugees – especially as he had left the psychiatric clinic the day before his fatal encounter with the police, where he had reportedly asked to be admitted.
Many questions remain unanswered
For reasons of neutrality, the investigation is no longer being conducted by the Dortmund police, but by the Recklinghausen police.
Bodycams have been part of the standard equipment of the police in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) since the end of 2019. Police officers are obliged to wear them and to switch them on especially in conflict situations where there is a concrete danger to the life and physical integrity of both the police and the victim.
The young policeman who fired the shot has been suspended from duty.
It is not a question of pointing the finger at the police but of understanding what happened so that the family can mourn in peace. And that they can pray for the repose of the soul of the deceased.
The tragedy opens the debate on the issue of police violence, the use of machine guns by the police, which is undoubtedly abusive.
This tragedy also prompts us to analyse the conditions in which people risk their lives, but also to examine the question of legal immigration of young people who are exposed to all sorts of attacks, exertions and violence on their way to a fictitious Eldorado that is Europe.
We sympathise with his family and express our sincere condolences.
May the deceased enjoy eternal rest in his native village and may peace return to all hearts!
Dr. Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana, MEP
1st Vice-President oft he Commission on Development DEVE
Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Intergroup “Anti-Racism and Diversity „(ARDI)