A judge has sent a 43-year-old man detained by Mossos d’Esquadra as the alleged perpetrator of a homophobic attack suffered by a couple of two men walking through the center of Barcelona last February to temporary prison.
According to the Catalan police, the investigation began in February last year, when investigators learned that there had been a homophobic attack on two men who were walking along the main street of Barcelona.
The attack was carried out by one person solely on the grounds of the sexual orientation of the victims. The applicants stated that the author of the acts showered them with homophobic insults and attacked them with fists “with extreme cruelty”, Mosso pointed out.
Agents from the Central Division for Hate Crimes and Discrimination (UCODD) Mosso launched an investigation and on May 10, working with the Barcelona City Guard, arrested the alleged perpetrator of the events in the Catalan capital. The investigation was carried out in cooperation with the Barcelona Special Prosecutor for Hate Crimes and Discrimination.
The 43-year-old detainee, previously accused of various threats and coercion, showed off his boxing skills on social media. According to police, his boxing knowledge explains how he was able to attack two men at the same time and they were unable to defend themselves.
The victims suffered various injuries such as broken fingers, blows that required stitches, and various bruises that required follow-up care. They also suffered psychological consequences that required help and emotional support from organizations associated with the LGBT collective.
In the first quarter of this year, Mossos d’Esquadra investigated 39 hate crime cases in the area of LGBT phobia. Compared to the same period last year, this represents an increase of nine cases. A total of 51 perpetrators were arrested and/or investigated in connection with these events, 75% of whom were men.
Parallel to Mosso’s investigation and arrest, victim assistance groups (GAV) for hate crimes are also being activated. Currently, Victim Assistance Groups have activated 71 monitoring of victims of homophobic hate crimes.
The Central Unit for Combating Hatred and Discrimination was established in the summer of 2020 with the aim of carrying out the most complex investigations in this area and homogenizing the police work of the investigation units in order to establish the same criteria and procedures when investigating these events, as well as regarding the analysis of this phenomenon and work in coordination with the Barcelona Prosecutor’s Office for Combating Hatred and Discrimination and other organizations.
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