200 people staged an impromptu demonstration at Brussels North station against homophobic violence on Saturday (June 2).
LGBTI campaigners and supporters march on the capital following recent neews that a gay couple in Shaerbeek were violently attacked.
The couple, Nicolas Juan Nalinne and Jeroen DC were attacked by their Turkish neighbors, who claim the attack was motivated by homophobia.
Details of the attack are sparse but it is the latest incident of homophobic violence in the area of the city.
“What happened to us on Monday evening has left a lasting mark on us,” Jeroen told Belga.
“But all of the displays of support we have received since then have been taken to heart.”
Men violently attacked by family in Brussels
According to reports, the attack involved the whole family, including the older brother, the younger brother and the father and mother, who were both inciting their sons to attack the men further.
A passer-by then intervened, but the men’s abuse did not stop. When the first victim’s partner came to help, he also became the target of the attack.
Nicolas said, ‘A group of six individuals followed him [Jeroen) in the street. Fortunately, he was able to get away.
‘One witness told me that I should never have come to live here.
‘This is exactly what I intend to do.’
A group of over 200 people descended upon Brussels Nord train station following the incident.
‘Homophobia has no place in Brussels’
Demo organiser Graham Peele said: ‘We are here to say that homophobia has no place in Brussels.
‘Barely two weeks ago Gay Pride took place in Brussels. We had hoped our message had been put across, but since then there have been three attacks on homosexuals.
‘We are gathered here today to declare that discrimination and homophobia have no place in Brussels.’
Adelheid Byttebier,a Schaerbeek councillor, said: ‘The experience of Jeroen and his partner touched us deeply, but is sadly all too recognisable.
‘As a municipality we are trying to raise awareness, which we think is important and necessary for all victims of discrimination.’