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Gay man beaten to death in suspected homophobic attack, sparking protests across Spain

24-year-old nursing assistant Samuel Luiz was attacked outside a nightclub while video chatting to friends over the weekend.

2021-07-06

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)

#JusticeforSamuel

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."

People also used the hashtag to share footage of police using excessive force when breaking up a protest in Madrid.

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.

“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.

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