A homophobic attack saw a vile slur carved into a gay man’s buttocks with a knife in Spain.
The victim, aged 20, was attacked by eight masked attackers at the entrance to his apartment building in the Malasana district of Madrid on Sunday.
The gang cut his lower lip with a knife while calling him a ‘s**t-eater’, and then scored the word ‘maricón’ into his buttocks – the Spanish equivalent of ‘f****t’.
A police spokesperson said officers are investigating and are collecting ‘as much evidence as possible from security cameras and witnesses’.
‘Police are looking to arrest and identify these people and clarify whether it was really a homophobic attack or hate crime,’ they added.
‘This is the first assault of this kind we have heard of.’
No arrests have yet been made and the investigation continues.
Prime minister Pedro Sanchez scheduled an urgent meeting of the hate crimes committee for Friday.
He tweeted on Monday: ‘I condemn this homophobic attack most vehemently.
‘We won’t stand for it and we’ll keep working for an open and diverse country where no one is scared to be who they are, and in which we can all live safely and freely.’
Government spokesperson Isabel Rodríguez García said: ‘Hate crimes require the strongest social and political reproach.’
She added the Government would use ‘every legal instrument available’ to prevent ‘discourse that promotes hatred’.
Several protests have been called in response to the attack, with one planned tonight in Puerta del Sol square, with another called ‘they’re killing us’ in the same place on Saturday.
Spain’s LGBT+ community is still reeling from the shocking killing of Samuel Luiz, who was beaten to death near a nightclub in the northern city of Coruna.
Activists believe the attack on the gay 24-year-old man was motivated by homophobia.
Although a recent YouGov survey in Spain showed 91% of people would be supportive if a family member came out as lesbian, gay or bisexual, there are claims there is a growing issue with homophobic violence in the country.
According to the Madrid Observatory against LGBTphobia, there have been at least 103 homophobic assaults in Madrid in 2021, and 41% of LGBT+ Spaniards suffered harassment in the last year.
Campaigners say official statistics capture only a fraction of the problem because many incidents are not reported.
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