Madrid, Sep 7 (EFE).- An alleged homophobic gang assault on a young man in Madrid has raised the alarm over hate crimes in Spain with the government announcing an urgent meeting to discuss the issue as political and civil groups condemned the violence.
Police are currently searching for eight people who allegedly attacked the 20-year-old victim in plain daylight on Sunday by following him inside his appartment building’s entrance, insulting him, throwing him to the ground, lacerating his lip, and cutting a homophobic slur with a knife on his upper thigh.
The Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will chair a meeting on Friday with the National Plan to Fight Hate Crime Monitoring Committee.
Back in July, a young man was murdered in an allegedly anti-gay hate crime.
It prompted large demonstrations across the country in support of a growingly alarmed LGBTI community.
The government has vowed to act swiftly to counter hate crimes and any other intimidation tactics or aggressions victimizing people for their sexual identity, race, or ideological positions.
“Without a doubt, this is the result of increased hate speech not only on social media but also by institutions and political party leaders,” said the government’s director-general for LGBTI Rights Boti Rodrigo.
According to official data, reported hate crimes grew by 9.3% in Spain during this year’s first half, in comparison to the same period of 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, a study by the National Bureau for the Fight against Hate Crime said that a majority of victims, some 89%, do not report the aggressions. EFE