Poland: Mother of soldier murdered by migrant calls on government to make sure no such deaths happen again

The mother of Mateusz Sitek, the soldier who died after being stabbed by a migrant on the border with Belarus, has appealed to the government during his funeral to take the decisions needed to avert such tragedies in future

Source: X@prezydentpl/M. Borawski/KPRP.
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
3 Min Read

Sirens from police cars, fire trucks, and border guard vehicles wailed out across Poland on Wednesday at noon in honor of Mateusz Sitek a 21-year-old soldier knifed to death on the border with Belarus, an incident that sparked criticism of the Tusk government’s handling of security.

On behalf of the family, the military had requested that the public respect their grief by avoiding the family’s residence and not attending or documenting the vigil and funeral ceremony.

An official farewell ceremony for the soldier was held in Nowy Lubiel in central Poland. The soldier’s mother spoke over the coffin of her son and in a moving address asked those in power to draw the right conclusions. 

“Let us pray for our homeland and for those who govern us to take the wise and responsible decisions to ensure that no mother will again have to cry over her child’s coffin and that our sons and daughters can return safely to their families,” she pleaded. 

Polish President Andrzej Duda paid homage to the fallen soldier.

“Choosing to serve our country, he knew that service entailed risk. He took his assignment and did not desert. He fell serving the Republic and gave his life for us and his country,” said President Duda.

The death of the soldier has been widely mourned in his hometown. One of those who knew him told reporters that “he was very brave. It’s a tragedy, and I really empathize with his family.”

A local man expressed his outrage at the behavior of the government. “I am outraged at what’s going on. Our soldiers are taken in handcuffs for daring to fire warning shots, but the migrants can stab our boys.”

The local mayor added that “the community was in shock after the death of such a young man.”

“He was our friend, his mother taught in our school, and his father is also part of our community,” he added. The mayor promised that the local municipality would provide assistance and support to the bereaved family. 

The 21-year-old soldier was stabbed in the chest by a migrant at the end of May. Despite aid provided at the site and the efforts of doctors, his life could not be saved. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of sergeant in the Polish Army and awarded the Golden Medal for Merit in National Defense.

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