Words: Alastair James; pictures: Twitter / @MarioMonforte & @grodira
Spanish police are investigating the death of a 24-year-old gay man, who was beaten to death in a suspected homophobic attack during Pride weekend in northern Spain.
Samuel Luiz, a nursing assistant, was killed outside a nightclub in A Coruña early on Saturday (3 July) morning. His friends have told the El Mundo newspaper that Luiz was video calling them when a group of men started verbally and physically attacking him.
He died as a result of his injuries in hospital, which has led to protests across Spain.
Samuel Luiz (Photo: @MarioMonforte)
On Monday (5 July), LGBTQ groups filled the María Pita square in A Coruña, according to the Spanish paper, El País. The paper reports that Samuel’s family did not attend but have urged people to donate to the Red Cross.
The paper also reports that the incident occurred when Samuel’s attackers thought he was recording them while video chatting to his friends outside a nightclub.
Photos from the protest shared online show thousands of people gathered in masks waving rainbow flag and placards, with some saying #JusticeforSamuel /#JusticeParaSamuel, which has also been trending online since the horrific incident.
One person tweeted: "Samuel was not allowed to achieve his dreams, enjoy life, get old... All because of the damn homophobia that never ends in Spain."
It's terrible that your life can finish without any reason at 24 years old.— MARIO (@MarioMonforte) July 5, 2021
Samuel was not allowed to achieve his dreams, enjoy life, get old... All because of the damn homophobia that never ends in Spain. #StopHomofobia 🇪🇸#justiciaparasamuel 🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/hLuHceMZ9P
People also used the hashtag to share footage of police using excessive force when breaking up a protest in Madrid.
Cops smash up a #JusticiaParaSamuel demonstration in Madrid last night, called following the homophobic murder of 24 year old nurse Samuel Luiz in A Coruña this (Pride) weekend. LGBTQ groups report a notable uptick in anti-LGBTQ violence in the last few years https://t.co/qnZD3A96LE— Huw Lemmey (@huwlemmey) July 6, 2021
Local press is reporting there have no arrests since Saturday but that a number of people have been questioned. A local official, José Miñones is among those to have condemned the assault and says police are working on the case.
La @policia trabaja para esclarecer los hechos y llevar ante la justicia a los autores.— Jose Miñones (@jose_minones) July 4, 2021
En estos momentos de dolor y rabia, apelo a la prudencia y a la responsabilidad.
“The best person you could ever meet”
In an emotional letter shared to the El Mundo newspaper, Samuel’s friends say, “he was the best person you could ever meet” and “Everyone loved him for who he was”.
They finish the letter by saying, “You are gone, but we will be here every day fighting for what you deserve, justice.
It’s another deeply upsetting story, which is happening all too frequently. Last month Attitude reported on a spate of homophobic attacks taking place in Liverpool, and a number of other horrendous and shocking attacks in recent months that have sadly resulted in the deaths of LGBTQ people here and across the world.
All are stark reminders of why we still need Pride because none of us are equal or free until we all are.
The Attitude Summer issue is out now.