Zagreb Pride, the NGO that promotes the rights of LGBTIQ persons, warned in a statement on Thursday that two serious physical assaults on young gay men had occurred in the northern Adriatic city of Rijeka in June, noting that both were hate crimes motivated by growing homophobia in the city and elsewhere in the country.
Both assaults were reported to the police, the NGO said, adding they expected a thorough investigation due to the seriousness of the crimes. The organisation also called on the police to identify the perpetrators and charge them with hate crime based on sexual orientation.
The first attack happened at the fire station in the city’s Pecine district on the night between June 21 and 22, when a group of men ambushed a 23-year-old gay man and beat him up. According to the statement, the man was recognised as a member of the LGBTIQ community earlier that day.
The second attack occurred on the evening of June 26, when a group of hooligans attacked two men after seeing them hugging. One man suffered grievous bodily harm, while the other was punched in the face, as a result of which his glasses were broken.