What happened: On August 8, 2022 in the center of Strumica, an LGBTI+ activist was physically attacked while holding a public event with several volunteers for promotion of their organization. An older male started to verbally threaten him and insulting him, after which, he physically attacked him causing him bodily injuries. The volunteers left the place due to fear that they too will be assaulted. Additionally, the victim notified the Helsinki Committee that the police did not act immediately upon the report, even though they were timely informed and the victim requested their action. Later, in the police station he was a victim of discrimination by the police officers.
The Helsinki Committee contacted the SIA Strumica with a request for proper investigation and sanctions against the perpetrator, as well as for proper measures considering the police treatment of the victim.
Brief description of the incident with bias indicators: In this incident the bias motive is the sexual orientation of the victim, with the bias indicators being:
- Sexual orientation – the victim belonged to a different sexual orientation
- Pattern of previous incidents – previous incidents towards individuals from the LGBTI community, specifically previous assaults towards the victim on the grounds of his sexual orientation
Impact on the victims and the community: These types of incidents call into question the general safety in the country, cohesion among different groups in the society, and especially the safety and security of the LGBTI community. The discrimination and victimization suffered by the victims of the LGBTI community from the police officers discourages victims from reporting these acts.