(AFP) – Dec 18, 2007
BERLIN (AFP) — A British man left paralysed after an attack by neo-Nazis is planning to travel to Berlin to kill himself, Bild newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Noel Martin, a 48-year-old former builder who lives in Birmingham, told the popular German daily: "I will come to Berlin to die. Making it my last destination will close an open circle in my life."
"My decision is cast in stone. I do not want to complicate my son's life with my problems."
Martin, who was born in Jamaica, said he is planning to kill himself with the help of a doctor who works with the controversial Swiss assisted-suicide association Dignitas.
He has long signalled his intention to kill himself and did not say when he planned to come to the German capital.
Martin has been confined to a wheelchair since June 1996 when two neo-Nazis attacked him and two friends in the town of Mahlow near Berlin in eastern Germany. The victims tried to flee by car with Martin at the wheel.
But when the neo-Nazis threw a stone at the vehicle, he lost control of it and crashed into a tree. The accident left Martin a paraplegic with limited use of his right hand.
The attackers were sentenced to five and eight years in jail respectively. They have never expressed remorse over the attack.
Martin's case touches on two burning issues in Germany -- an increase in violent attacks by right-wing extremists, particularly in eastern Germany, that has caused alarm here and a debate about assisted suicide.
It was legalised in Switzerland in 1987 but remains illegal in Germany. Dignitas says more than half its clients are Germans who travel to Switzerland to be helped to die.
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