Police have arrested six men, including two 14-year-old boys
A gay couple was attacked for holding hands in the Netherlands.
Jasper Vernes-Sewratan and his husband, Ronnie Sewratan-Vernes were on their way home from a party at Luxor Live, in their hometown Arnhem early on Sunday (2 April).
The couple were walking hand in hand when they were attacked by a group of men.
Ronnie lost four front teeth, as well as part of a fifth one, and suffered a severed lip.
‘We’ll almost never show in public that we are in a relationship,’ Jasper told RTL Nieuws.
‘But we had a few drinks, it was dark on the street and there were almost no people, so we held hands.’
When they reached the Nelson Mandela Bridge, a group of six to eight young men advanced on the couple.
‘I think they were Moroccans. They began to shout: disgusting, dirty, homo, such things,’ Jasper said.
‘We shouted something back and walked on, but all of a sudden they came after us.’
The attackers pulled the men apart; one of them, Jasper said, pulled a bolt cutter out of his jacket.
They reportedly used the bolt cutter to knock Ronnie’s teeth out.
Jasper said when he managed to reach his partner, he was covered in blood.
‘He was very upset,’ he said.
‘I immediately called 112.’
They took the couple to hospital, where Ronnie’s lip was stitched up.
Police have arrested six suspects so far – a 20-year old man, two 14-year-old boys and three 16-year-olds.
They are calling for witnesses to come forward.
‘That this can still happen in 2017 is incomprehensible and hard to understand,’ Jasper said on his Facebook page.
He and his partner also thanked friends and strangers for their support and kind messages.
And they’ve also acquired some very famous, and important, supporters.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte, as well as D66 leader Alexander Pechtold and GroenLinks boss Jesse Klaver, condemned the attack.
And there’s more: journalist Barabara Barend sent a tweet on Monday, asking people to walk hand in hand and share a picture.
Bij deze een oproep aan heel Nederland, ga de challenge aan en stuur je foto! #allemannenhandinhand @DaanVerhoeven pic.twitter.com/fNG4PhPPaa
— Barbara Barend (@barbarabarend) April 3, 2017
And people delivered – including Pechtold, who held hands with a party member as they walked to a government-building meeting.
Wij doen mee! Stop geweld tegen homo’s. #allemannenhandinhand @barbarabarend pic.twitter.com/zsLY7Z0SqM
— Alexander Pechtold (@APechtold) April 3, 2017