A gay man had a homophobic slur carved into his buttocks during a horrific attack by eight masked men in Madrid, Spain.
The victim, 20, was attacked at the entrance to his apartment building in the Malasana district.
The assailants cut his lower lip with a knife and then scored the word ‘maricón’ into his buttocks – the Spanish equivalent of ‘fa***t’.
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Police were investigating the incident and collecting ‘as much evidence as possible from security cameras and witnesses’, the spokeswoman said.
‘Police are looking to arrest and identify these people and clarify whether it was really a homophobic attack or hate crime.’
The government of Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez reacted to the attack, with spokeswoman Isabel Rodriguez voicing ‘utmost condemnation’ of the violence after Tuesday’s weekly cabinet meeting.
Sanchez also called an urgent meeting of the hate crimes committee for Friday.
‘Hate crimes require the strongest social and political reproach,’ she said, pledging the government would use ‘every legal instrument available’ to combat such attitudes and ‘discourse that promotes hatred’.