The 23-year-old Basiru Jallow was found seriously injured with stab wounds in the Old Botanical Garden of Tübingen in the afternoon of 23 March and he died of his severe injuries a short time later in hospital/Photo: Courtesy of Yahya Sonko
The mayor of Tübingen, a town in Baden-Württenberg, Boris Palmer, has again been criticised over his racist and insensitive comments following the murder of an African in the town.
23-year-old Basiru Jallow, a Gambian, was found seriously injured with stab wounds in the Old Botanical Garden of Tübingen in the afternoon of 23 March and he died of his severe injuries a short time later in hospital.
Mayor Boris Palmer has become notorious for his provocative and inciteful utterances about refugees and asylum-seekers/Photo: Screenshot/Phoenix/Wikipedia
Even while investigations were still going on, Mayor Palmer, who has been criticised in the past for controversial remarks, took to his Facebook page to comment on the tragic incident, suggesting that the deceased, also known as B.Boy, was a drug dealer as the crime spot was notorious for drug dealing.
He wrote on 24 March:
“The crime scene is about where I took this photo. It is the location of the open drug scene, which is run mainly by refugees from Gambia. I have always urged the police to fight this as intensively as possible. But that is very difficult with refugees. Petty crime is not enough for deportation. The financial gain is so great that arrests and a few days in jail are calculated in. And often the young men have to send the money home. That’s what they were sent out for. The police were mainly successful when they raided drug depots or got hold of the suppliers. Our constitutional state is almost powerless against the dealers themselves. New ones keep coming.
This situation right next to a central playground in the park has always been a nuisance to me and never acceptable. Now apparently one of the dealers has been stabbed to death.”
The protest rally demanding for justice for Bashiru Jallow and condemning Mayor Palmer/Photo: Screenshot
The African community, human rights groups and the Green Party in the town have all condemned the inhuman comments of the mayor who is notorious for his insensitive statements bothering on racist incitement.
“In his Facebook commentary, he repeatedly uses racist prejudices and stereotypes. By linking the killing with illegal drug deals and the nationality of the victim, he reinforces resentment against refugees and contributes to the division of society,” a joint statement of Feminismen* Tübingen, BiPoC+ Feminismen* Tübingen and the Grünen Jugend Tübingen said.
“Under his Facebook posts, he allows racist and radical right-wing statements and gives false reports a platform. On the other hand, he hardly says a word about the alleged perpetrator, who has been caught in the meantime: a 27-year-old “light-skinned” man. Such an act does not seem to fit into the world view of the mayor of Tübingen. He thus attributes the blame of the perpetrator to the victim,” the activists added.
“It is very unfortunate that you make such a very discriminatory statement against my homeland, The Gambia and Gambians. You didn’t only discriminate against Gambians but you went too far to even allege that they send drug money to their homeland which you have no proof of. The police preliminary report didn’t indicate that the deceased was a drug dealer, but here you as mayor, instead of waiting for full details from the police, are drawing conclusion,” Yahya Sonko, a Gambian migration activist in Baden-Württemberg, said in an open letter to the mayor.
“Official tolerance and a tacit green light for racial discrimination can fuel tensions and this has played out catastrophically throughout history. We do not need reminding you that racism and discrimination can be steps on the way to conflict,” Sonko added.
“We from the The Africa we want e.V nonprofit organization, and organizer of Tübingen International Afrika Festival, condems this Act with strong words and call on Justice for Bashiru Jallow,” Susan Tatah and Dr Yuven Yerima said in a post on Facebook.
Under the slogan “Not in our names! Blame racism – not the victims”, the African community supported by citizens of Tübingen took to the streets of the town on 1 April to demand for justice for Basiru Jallow and appeal for peaceful coexistence. Speakers condemned Mayor Palmer who as mayor should be an agent of unity but has chosen to polarise the residents of the town with his callous behaviour.
Meanwhile, a suspect has been arrested by the police in connection to the murder of Basiru Jallow. According to media reports, the 27-year-old suspect is known to the police for narcotic offences and violence.
“May justice take its course and we pray for a peaceful coexistence regardless of skin colour, country of origin, nationality, religious background, gender and status,” The Africa we want e.V. said.