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HOMOPHOBIA

Crowd attack on French transgender woman leads to 10-month sentence

A young man who was filmed assaulting a transgender woman was sentenced Wednesday to 10 months in prison, four of them on parole, by a Paris court.

Crowd attack on French transgender woman leads to 10-month sentence
Seddik A., 23, was found guilty of assault because of the victim's gender by the Paris Criminal Court and was ordered to abstain from contacting the victim, Julia Boyer, or appearing near her residence.
   
He was also ordered to pay her 3,500 euros ($3,900), and 1,500 euros to each of three LGBT defence associations that had supported her.
   
“Justice has been served,” commented Boyer, 31, before adding: “I am not sure prison is the best solution but I hope he will think about this and not do it again.”
   
On March 31, Boyer, who had begun transitioning to female eight months earlier, was singled out by a group of men near a Paris metro station in the midst of a demonstration against former Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
 
Julia Boyer. Photo: AFP
   
She was verbally abused and had beer thrown at her before video surveillance cameras shows Seddik A. touch her hair and punch her several times in the face.
 
Boyer escaped into the metro station with the help of several workers for the underground network.
   
“This trial is symbolic, because the French justice system took into account the discriminatory aspect of transphobic acts,” her lawyer Etienne Deshoulieres remarked.
 
   
Seddik A. did not deny attacking the victim, but said he did not utter insults against transgender people and was not “homophobic”.
   
His lawyer Mariame Toure called the sentence “severe” and said it was a reaction to “media frenzy about the case”. 

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HOMOPHOBIA

Youth admits vicious gay attack story that shocked Spain was a lie

A young man who claimed eight masked assailants carved a homophobic slur on his buttocks in Madrid in broad daylight, sparking an outcry, has admitted he lied, Spain's Interior Ministry said Wednesday.

Youth admits vicious gay attack story that shocked Spain was a lie
Photo: Curto de la Torre/AFP

The 20-year-old told police he was attacked on Sunday at the entrance to his apartment building in the trendy Malasana district near the Spanish capital’s lively gay heighbourhood.

He claimed the assailants cut his lower lip with a knife then scored the word “maricón”, meaning “faggot” into his buttocks, while spewing homophobic attacks.

But on Wednesday he “decided to rectify his initial statement and said the injuries allegedly inflicted had been consensual,” an interior ministry source told AFP.

The alleged attack came just two months after a young gay man was beaten to death in northern Spain in another suspected homophobic attack and it drew a sharp rebuke from Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

The premier said there was “no place for hatred” and he called an urgent meeting for Friday of Spain’s commission against hate crimes.

Leftist parties and rights groups also accused far-right party Vox of encouraging homophobic attacks with its vocal opposition to gay rights.

News that the young man, who has not been identified, had changed his story sparked a flurry of reaction.

Equality Minister Irene Montero tweeted that “hate crimes against LGBTI people rose 43 percent during the first half of 2021” over the same period last year.

She urged people not to focus on the “tree which hides the forest”.

Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said it was “anecdotal” that the man had changed his story “because hate crimes have risen”.

“And obviously there is public conduct, online behaviour which encourage hate crimes, lets not trivialise,” he told private television La Sexta.

But Javier Giner, a film director and gay activist, lashed out at the youth, saying he had done “unnecessary and gratuitous harm to all victims of homophobic attacks and to everyone who fights to end them.”

Two months ago Samuel Luiz, 24, was beaten to death near a nightclub in the northern city of Coruna in an attack denounced by Sanchez as “savage and merciless”. It brought huge crowds onto the streets in protest.

A protest called for Wednesday night in central Madrid in response to the supposed attack would still take place, organisers said. 

READ MORE: Is Spain really a tolerant country when it comes to LGBTQ+ people?

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