The Serbian community in Malta was rocked by a report on Tuesday night of the death of a young boy in an incident involving a security guard in Salina Park, a popular park in the seaside town of Qawra, home to many Serbians who live in Malta.
A post on a Serbian community Facebook group announced the news, saying that following an altercation with a security guard, the 14-year-old boy was pushed to the ground and hit his head against a garbage bin, later dying of his injuries.
According to the post, the boy was playing football with his friends in the park when they were approached by a security guard who told them not to play there “because they are Serbs”.
When the boy asked why Serbs were not allowed to play, the security guard allegedly “pushed him so hard that the child hit his head in a dirty garbage can where he immediately lost consciousness.
“After only a few minutes, an ambulance was called, which came really quickly and took the child away, but unfortunately, due to too much impact on the head and a lot of lost blood, the child died a little while ago.”
The post immediately garnered huge sympathy amongst the group’s members, with many expressing their shock and sorrow at the boy’s death.
Many also questioned why this news was not widely reported, calling for the community to come together to protest and make their voice heard.
Times of Malta was also contacted by several people who expressed their concern over the incident, asking for more information about what happened.
No trace of an incident
However, there seems to be no official trace of the incident and police and hospital authorities said that there had not been any injury or death at Salina park over the past days.
Speaking to Times of Malta, police confirmed that they were aware of rumours of the incident, but had not received any reports of any injuries, deaths or brawls anywhere in the vicinity of Salina park over the past several days.
A police spokesperson explained that the police would automatically be informed if there was any such incident, as they would need to launch an investigation into the incident.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Mater Dei Hospital, Malta’s national hospital, confirmed that they also had no information about the alleged incident and did not dispatch an ambulance to the site. “Mater Dei Hospital was not called in to assist with any incidents involving a deceased or severely injured child at Salina Park over the past few days”.
Times of Malta spoke to an administrator of the Facebook group in which the claim was first made. The administrator confirmed that they were also unable to verify that the incident had really happened, despite extensive attempts to contact alleged eyewitnesses and community leaders.
According to several members of the Serbian community who spoke to Times of Malta, an Instagram account apparently belonging to the child’s mother is claiming that her son was killed in the incident.
In a private message seen by Times of Malta, this Instagram account tells a person who allegedly witnessed the incident “thank you very much for calling the emergency room right away. But unfortunately the blow was strong and he received a severe concussion. He did not survive. You were there for him and he will watch us from above”.
However, it is unclear whether this is a genuine Instagram account, as it displays several hallmarks frequently associated with fake accounts, including not having any posts and having changed its username several times.
Attempts to contact the child’s mother on Instagram were unsuccessful.
Times of Malta was unable to independently verify whether the private message is genuine.
Members of the Serbian community who spoke to Times of Malta also say that while the child’s mother is saying that he died, other members of his immediate family are claiming otherwise, insisting that the child is unhurt.
The Facebook post that first announced the news was deleted by the group’s administrators in the afternoon and replaced by another post explaining that administrators do not have any official confirmation of the incident.
Police and hospital authorities have no trace of an incident involving a child anywhere near Salina park over the past few days.
Members of the Serbian community familiar with the people involved are unable to verify whether the incident really took place.
The alleged family members of the victim also have contrasting versions of the incident.
This claim is therefore false, as the evidence clearly refutes the claim.
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