Just hours before a radicalized Muslim American terrorist killed 49 people and wounded more than 50 at a gay club in Orlando, Fla., a 26-year-old transgender man from Tunisia was reported stabbed and violently beaten in Brussels.
Warning: the photographs of his injuries, blood and stitches, shown below, might upset some people.
The man, identified as Sharky, had fled Tunisia for Belgium in 2012 because of family rejection and anti-trans violence, according to reports.
“It all began on social media. At first I tried not to take the threats seriously, although they made it clear they were members of Islamic State,” he told La Capitale. “They want to make me an example for young people who do not respect the religious law. They said they only have to wait for an official command to behead me.”
And to Sharky’s dismay, he said he recognized the men who attacked him on a street Saturday in Etterbeek, in greater Brussels.
“They were the same people who had assaulted me in Tunisia,” he told La Capitale. “I was extremely scared for my life. After being stabbed, I tried to walk before I collapsed to the ground.” Sharky told the website that a young woman found him unconscious and called for an ambulance and the police.
Gay Star News reported the man suffered several stab wounds to the abdomen and cuts to his head, shown in a tweet.
18 + Brussels: a Tunisian transgender man violently attacked by religious extremists. pic.twitter.com/ZZugcML6Aq
— Nadim نديم (@MENA_LGBT) June 13, 2016
According to GSN, Belgian’s Center for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism said they were treating the attack as a serious matter. Although Sharky filed a complaint with local police, Brussels public prosecutor’s office told GSN there’s no evidence to support his claims as to the attackers’ motives.