Words: Alastair James; pictures: Twitter / @MarioMonforte
Three people have been arrested by police in Spain in connection with the death of 24-year-old nursing assistant, Samuel Luiz, in what’s widely thought to be a homophobic assault.
Samuel's violent death has sparked protests across Spain, with thousands filling a local square in A Coruña, in the Galicia region of the country.
Protestors in Madrid were disrupted by police this week, with social media footage indicating excessive use of force.
Samuel's killing occurred just after Pride weekend, and after Spain's government strengthened the rights of LGBT people, ban conversion therapy and help people transitioning.
“The investigation continues until the facts are fully clarified”
Spain’s National Police announced on Tuesday (6 July) evening that three people between the ages of 20 and 25 - all from A Coruña - had been arrested.
Posting on Twitter they added: “The investigation continues until the facts are fully clarified. More arrests are not ruled out in the next few hours.”
Detenidos 3 jóvenes de entre 20 y 25 años, vecinos de A Coruña, como presuntos autores de la agresión violenta que acabó con la vida de Samuel Luiz— Policía Nacional (@policia) July 6, 2021
La investigación continúa abierta hasta el total esclarecimiento de los hechos. No se descartan más detenciones en próximas horas pic.twitter.com/r8Cs88b1Dz
The Spanish paper, El País, reports that police have told them the three people arrested are two men and one woman. The paper also reports that initially Samuel was confronted by three people, who believed they were being recorded when in actual fact Samuel was speaking to his friends on video chat.
The police have told El País that things escalated quickly with the police describe as a “human pack” of about six to ten people kicking Samuel down the street to where he fell, “as if he were dead”.
El País also reports that one friend of Samuel’s has spoken to Spanish broadcaster, Telecino, and that the initial attacker called Samuel a “f*****g f*g” before attacking.
The incident led to large protests across Spain in the aftermath, with many congregating in the city of A Coruña as well as Madrid and Barcelona.
The hashtags #JusticeForSamuel and #JusticeParaSamuel also began trending on Twitter. The attack has also been widely condemned by politicians, with Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, describing it as, “savage and merciless act”, adding, “Spain will not tolerate this.”
Confío en que la investigación de @policia dé pronto con los autores del asesinato de Samuel y esclarezca los hechos. Fue un acto salvaje y despiadado.— Pedro Sánchez (@sanchezcastejon) July 5, 2021
No daremos ni un paso atrás en derechos y libertades. España no lo va a tolerar. Todo mi apoyo a su familia y seres queridos.