- The Magazine
Three people have been arrested after a young gay man was brutally beaten to death in Spain.
Samuel Luiz, a 24-year-old nursing assistant, was attacked by at least 12 people outside a nightclub in the the city of A Coruña on Saturday, July 3.
Government officials have condemned the killing, with Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, calling it a “savage and merciless act.”
Luiz’s friends told El Mundo that he left the nightclub in order to video call a friend, when a man came over to him and said, “Stop filming you I’ll kill you, f****t.”
Vanesa, the friend who participated in the video call, said that the man didn’t wait for a response, and instead “punched [Luiz] very hard.”
Others outside the club reportedly came over to help Luiz, forcing the attacker and an accomplice away from the scene.
However, while another of Luiz’s friends, Lina, helped him to search for his phone, the attacker returned with a group of people — at least 12 in total.
“I saw in the distance that a crowd of people were moving at high speed,” Lina told El Mundo. “When I arrived I found Samuel unconscious on the ground. [The attackers] were no longer there and had left him lying there.”
Luiz was taken to a nearby hospital, but died later that morning.
A police investigation was launched, with Spain’s Policia Nacional arresting three people, with at least 13 questioned by police according to local reports.
The individuals arrested were aged between 20 and 25 and lived in A Coruña, The Guardian reports.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said he was “confident that the police investigation will soon find those who murdered Samuel and shed light on what happened.”
“It was a savage and merciless act,” Sánchez tweeted. “We will not take a step backwards when it comes to rights and freedoms and Spain will not tolerate this.”
Sánchez’s government recently introduced a draft law that would strengthen the rights of LGBTQ people in Spain.
Spain’s Minister of Equality Irene Montero tweeted her “strongest condemnation” of the attack, adding, “We must build among all of us a freer society in which we leave no room for hatred.”
José Miñones, a government delegate in Galicia, told reporters that the police investigation was still at an early stage and would determine if Luiz’s murder was a homophobic hate crime.
Luiz’s murder sparked protests on Monday as activists demanded justice.
Spain’s largest LGBTQ organization, Federación Estatal LGTB, tweeted, “We are being murdered and mistreated. For being LGTBI.”
“We will not rest,” they added. “It’s very easy to celebrate diversity one month a year. But until we all commit to 100% ALWAYS, this will not end.”
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