Protests Erupt In Spain After Gay Man Beaten To Death Outside Nightclub
Thousands of protestors took to the streets of Spain after a gay man was beaten to death outside a nightclub in what police believe could have been a homophobic attack.
Demonstrations took place in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Salamanca, Bilbao and Zaragoza on Monday night, July 5, following the attack, which took place in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Samuel Luiz, who worked as a student nurse, was out with friends in the Spanish city of A Coruña when an argument broke out with passersby outside a nightclub.
The 24-year-old was making a video call when two people walking by accused him of trying to film them. The exchange turned violent and Luiz was assaulted, with the attacker leaving him with a badly bruised face.
While for a moment it may have seemed that the worst was over, minutes later the attacker returned with 12 other people who beat Luiz until he was unconscious. He was taken to hospital, where he died hours later.
Luiz’s father, Max Luiz, said, ‘They have put out our only light. I just hope that his death is not in vain.’
Police have launched an investigation into the events and three men have since been arrested over the killing, The Independent reports. José Miñones, the Spanish government representative in Galicia, said police are looking into whether the attack was motivated by homophobia.
Residents made their outrage clear as they took to the streets to demand justice for Luiz, with demonstrators holding signs branded with statements such as ‘No more deaths for hate, intolerance or discrimination’.
Activists in Madrid clashed with riot police during the demonstration, and residents have demanded politicians in the capital come up with explanations for the events.
Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, addressed the fatal attack of Luiz in a tweet in which he said he was ‘confident that the police investigation will soon find those who murdered Samuel and shed light on what happened’.
He added, ‘It was a savage and merciless act. We will not take a step backwards when it comes to rights and freedoms and Spain will not tolerate this.’
Luiz’s death comes just days after the end of Pride Month, which is celebrated throughout June, and less than a week after Spain’s annual celebrations for the event. Ahead of the attack, Sánchez’s government approved a draft law to protect and strengthen the rights of LGBTQ+ people.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 10am–6pm Monday to Friday, or email [email protected]