In Catalonia, in the northeast of Spain, there is an increase in homophobic attacks, according to a gay rights group in the region.
The Observatory Against Homophobia (OCH) made a wake-up call after the city of Barcelona was the scene of incidents during the weekend, in which five gay men were injured in three separate attacks.
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During the most serious of them, a man had to be rushed to the hospital and needed facial surgery this Sunday after he and his friends were attacked on a beach.
Police are investigating but no people have been arrested, local media reported.
Local authorities took to social media to condemn the attacks.
“We will never normalize this situation”, tweeted the head of Citizenship Rights of the Barcelona City Council, Marc Serra Solé.
Second homophobic aggression this weekend in Barcelona. This is especially violent.
From the Non-Discrimination Office we activate protocol with @OCL_H to ensure legal advice and psychosocial support to victims. We will never normalize this situation. 🏳️🌈 https://t.co/nuIhAHNX95
– Marc Serra Solé (@MarcSerraSole) May 30, 2021
A “barbaric” incident
OCH president Eugeni Rodríguez said the incident on Barcelona’s Somorrostro beach involved two homosexual couples who were attacked by three men.
The men approached them, insulted them and then attacked them after verifying that there were no police officers in the area, according to the EFE news agency.
Rodríguez called the incident “barbaric” and said the number of homophobic attacks was increasing.
“It is a spiral that we are not used to, it is of extreme violence,” he added. “It is terrible that, after the pandemic, we are in this situation.”
The president of the Observatory also lamented “the impunity of the aggressors”, who have not been able to be arrested, and the “growing fear” felt by the group.
The OCH registered 76 attacks of this type in Catalonia so far this year.
The other homophobic attacks in Barcelona over the weekend took place in the Gràcia district on Saturday morning and another later in the day near the city’s auditorium, OCH detailed.
Catalonia’s Equality Minister Tània Verge also condemned the violence and tweeted that fighting homophobia was a high priority for her department.
All support to the victims, whom we can accompany via complaint to @Mossos or through the #xarxaSAI https://t.co/M1A6IKZ3O8 🏳️🌈.
Fighting LGBTIphobia will be a key focus of the work of the Ministry of Equality and Feminism. https://t.co/GNDPEy7CfZ
– Tania Verge Mestre (@taniaverge) May 30, 2021
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