Belgium’s Prime Minister has raised a rainbow flag as the country mourns the violent death of a gay man at the weekend.
The victim, named only as David P by Belgian media, was found dead in the early hours of Sunday at a park in the city of Beveren, near Antwerp.
Police have arrested three teenagers, all minors, on suspicion of the murder. A 17-year old boy from Antwerp and two boys from Beveren, aged 16 and 17, are in custody.
The teens lured the victim to the park before stabbing and beating him to death, police alleged.
Police have not announced a motive but are investigating the murder as a possible hate crime.
Belgian outlet De Standaard reported one of the teens allegedly belongs to anti-gay group who use gay apps to ambush and assault gay men.
David P’s violent death has caused outrage across Belgium.
Prime Minister Alexander De Croo flew a rainbow flag at his office on Tuesday and spoke of his “shock and disgust” at the crime.
“In our country, there is no place for hatred. Love wins,” De Croo tweeted.
“If it turns out that that person has been trapped based on his sexuality, this would be unacceptable.
“This is all that we as a society have to revolt against.
“My deepest condolences to the family and friends of the victim.
“Justice must now do its job. But let one thing be clear: we will never accept this violence in our country.”
In ons land is er geen plaats voor haat. Love wins. 🏳️🌈
Pas de place pour la haine dans notre pays. Love wins. 🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/JTLXFtUktb
— Alexander De Croo (@alexanderdecroo) March 9, 2021
Belgium sees rise in homophobic abuse and violence, activists say
In 2012, four men abducted and murdered Belgian man Ihsane Jarfi in Liège.
Three of the men received life sentences for the sadistic homophobic attack.
Since then, human rights groups warned Belgium’s LGBTIQ community have faced a steady rise in homophobic verbal and physical violence.
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