A 20-year-old gay man was attacked by eight people who carved a slur on his body with a knife in a brutal attack that police are investigating as a hate crime.
Police in Madrid say that the victim was walking home on Sunday at 5:15 p.m. when people “with their faces covered ran and cornered him,” according to El País.
The people chased him to the entrance of a building, calling him insults like “shit-eater” and “disgusting.” They threatened him with a knife and then cut his lip before carving the word “maricón” (“faggot” in Spanish) on his butt.
“First we thought that this could not just be homophobia, and had to be a settling of scores, something more,” said Rubén López of the organization Madrid Observatory against LGTBphobia. “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.”
“This message of hatred is awful, vicious,” López said, adding that the attack focused on the victim’s butt possibly because the attackers were making a statement about gay sexuality.
The victim reported the crime to police who said, “This is the first assault of this kind that we have heard of.” They said that they are looking at security camera footage to identify the alleged assailants.
The Prime Minister of Spain condemned the attack.
“Hate has no place in our society,” said Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. “I absolutely condemn this homophobic attack. We will not allow it. We will continue working for an open and diverse country, where nobody is afraid to be who they are, in which everyone can live together, free and safe.”
“My thoughts to the young man who was attacked.”
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
According to the Madrid Observatory against LGBTphobia, there have been 103 anti-LGBTQ assaults so far this year in Madrid.