Assault “presumed homophobic” in Oudenaarde: the suspects released under strict conditions

Two videos posted this Monday on the internet testify to the assault of a young schoolboy in Oudenaarde by two minors not hiding their hostility towards the LGBT community. The facts, arousing general indignation, take place in the middle of the international day against homophobia.

Lhe Oudenaarde youth judge decided on Wednesday to release under strict conditions the two minors suspected of possibly homophobic assault against a young boy as well as the theft of a rainbow-colored flag. The two suspects will be under house arrest, perform community service and participate in an apprenticeship project.

The facts took place Monday on the international day against homophobia and transphobia. We can see in the images of the assault a young man being kicked and beaten in the vicinity of the Oudenaarde Athenaeum. Another video shows the suspects stealing a rainbow flag and throwing it into the Scheldt. The suspect filming the scene can be heard on the video saying: “What do you think? Homosexual day here ”.

Thorough investigation

Police arrested two underage suspects. One of them allegedly assaulted the young man and threw down the flag. The other suspect allegedly filmed the two scenes before posting them on social media. According to the East Flanders prosecution, an in-depth investigation will have to determine whether homophobia was the motivation of the two suspects.

They are boys aged 14 and 16 respectively. They were presented Wednesday to the youth judge of Oudenaarde, who released them by imposing several conditions on them. They are placed under house arrest for two months and will have to perform community service for 20 and 40 hours. They must also take part in a learning project on the management of attacks. Compensation for the victim has yet to be determined. These measures remain provisional and can still be modified by the judge.

The Oudenaarde Athenaeum reacted by expressing its shock at the facts of Monday. “At the initiative of the student council, we have implemented an action relating to this week’s anti-LGTBQ + incidents. Homophobia remains the cause of too many black or white thoughts. This is why we invite the pupils to dress in black and white during the next three days (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday), as a sign of solidarity ”. A petition has also been launched against homophobia in Oudenaarde, which states in particular that the victim was attacked “because she is bisexual, an attack purely based on orientation”.

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