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Lagos, Nigeria. Screenshot from YouTube

Hamburg discovers African custom…

This is a case of African customs on display in the German city of Hamburg. The German media called it "absolutely bizarre".

Published: November 14, 2019, 12:35 pm

    Hamburg

    The Hamburger Morgenpost reported on how witnesses described the scene in the residential area near Scheidingweg.

    A witness in Bramfeld saw from his balcony how a lifeless person was simply carried out and left on the street. The next day he told the Morgenpost: “At first I thought it was just garbage. But then he tugged at it like that. And then I saw the arm!”

    The man searched for his cell phone and immediately called 911,  suspecting that a murder had been committed.

    The deceased is a 50-year-old woman from Ghana. However, it cannot be assumed that she was killed. “There is every reason to believe that she died of an illness,” a police spokesman said. Forensic medicine will clarify the cause of death and an autopsy has been ordered.

    The fact that the woman had been suffering from an illness for a long time was also confirmed by residents of the building from which the woman’s body was carried.

    The police officers, together with colleagues from the fire brigade and the State Criminal Police Office, inspected the scene, working through the night. In addition to questioning local residents, some apartments were also searched.

    The investigation led the police to a neighbouring apartment where the woman had probably lived before her death. A 37-year-old African from the apartment and a 55-year-old foreigner whom the police had previously met on the sidewalk next to the body, were temporarily arrested.

    The 55-year-old was released, while the 37-year-old, who is a Nigerian citizen, remains in custody for the time being – on suspicion of illegal residency.

    “The time, place and cause of the death are still unclear,” the police said in a statement. “The autopsy of the body has not yet been completed. The investigation by the competent state criminal investigation office are continuing.”

    Should a natural cause of death be confirmed by forensic medicine, there will be no prosecution of the two foreigners, a police spokesman told AFP. Their behavior may have been “morally doubtful”, but not punishable.

    In Nigeria, it is quite common to see human corpses decomposing by the roadside. Existing scholarly comments have noted how state failure has contributed to the phenomenon. Scholars have explained public indifference to roadside corpses in terms of “neoliberal ideals of self-contained individual”.

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    • LuciusAnnaeusSeneca

      Natural man at his worst. Yes, this might be a common scene in Lagos. But it has long been one in Calcutta as well. And it, and scenes like it, are to be found anywhere people struggle to live from day to day amid conditions that we in the West cannot imagine.

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