A 20-year-old gay man was attacked by a gang of eight people who carved a homophobic slur into his skin.
Content warning: This story may include topics that some readers may find uncomfortable.
Police in Madrid, Spain, where the incident took place, are investigating what happened as a hate crime.
The victim was reportedly chased by the group, who were shouting homophobic slurs at him, when he was walking home on 5 September at around 5:15pm.
He was cornered at the entrance of a building before being threatened with a knife and having his lip cut open with it.
The mob then proceeded to carve the Spanish word for “f****t” on his backside which, according to the Madrid Observatory against LGBTphobia, will join the list as one of the 103 anti-LGBTQ+ assaults so far this year in the city.
Rubén López, who works for the Madrid Observatory against LGBTphobia, said: “First we thought that this could not just be homophobia, and had to be a settling of scores, something more.
“But it appears that it was. If this is so, it’s terrible, it’s the toughest thing I’ve seen in Madrid in my six years at the observatory and my 17 years as an activist.”
The attack was also condemned by Pedro Sánchez, the Prime Minister of Spain, who said “hate has no place” in the country.
En nuestra sociedad no tiene cabida el odio. Mi rotunda condena a este ataque homófobo. No vamos a permitirlo. Seguiremos trabajando por un país abierto y diverso, donde nadie tenga miedo a ser quien es, en el que todos/as vivamos libres y seguros.
Mi cariño al joven agredido. https://t.co/YDjWENyeVa
— Pedro Sánchez (@sanchezcastejon) September 6, 2021
“Hate has no place in our society,” the politician wrote on Twitter. “My emphatic condemnation of this homophobic attack. We will not allow it.”
“We will continue working for an open and diverse country, where no one is afraid of being who they are, where we all live free and safe. My affection for the attacked young man.”
The victim, who is remaining anonymous at this time, has reported the crime to police, who said this is “the first assault of this kind” that they have heard of.
Authorities are looking at security camera footage in an effort to identify and capture the culprits.
In an interview with Cadene Ser radio the day after the assault, Madrid mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida vowed to make the assailants feel “the full weight of the law”.
Galop is an LGBTQ+ charity there for those who have experienced abuse or have been the victim of a hate crime. They can be contacted Monday to Friday from 10am-4pm on 0207 7042040 or at HateCrime@galop.org.uk. You can find out more about them here.