Three people have been arrested over the killing of Samuel Luiz, a 24-year-old nursing assistant, who was allegedly beaten for being gay on Saturday, July 3. The attack happened in the Galician city A Coruña outside of a nightclub, reports The Guardian. Authorities have not ruled out the possibility of more arrests.
Friends of the victim say Luiz left the club to take a video call. He got into an argument with two pedestrians who accused him of trying to film them on his phone. The two returned minutes later with a large group and beat Luiz until he was unconscious. He was rushed to hospital where he died Saturday morning, reports The Guardian.
The arrests made were of two men and one woman aged between 20 and 25. The investigation will remain open until the full details of the case can be uncovered by authorities.
News of Luiz’s death spread throughout Spain, and on Monday demonstrations were held in multiple cities to protest the alleged homophobia behind the attack. The protests were reported in A Coruña, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Salamanca, Bilbao and Zaragoza. A Twitter campaign also broke out with the hashtag #JusticiaPorSamuel.
The attack follows the approval of a draft law that would improve protections for LGBTQIA+ people and the annual Spanish Pride celebrations. Many campaigners attribute the attack as an example of the violence and subjugation that minorities still face in Spain.
In response to the tragedy, prime minister Pedro Sánchez wrote on Twitter, “I trust that the investigation of [the] police to find the perpetrators of Samuel’s murder soon and clarify the facts. It was a savage and ruthless act”.
“We will not take a step back in rights and freedoms. Spain will not tolerate it. All my support to his family and loved ones,” says Sánchez.