Three Syrian migrants who beat and abused a gay couple holding hands at Gothenburg Central Station have been convicted of assault and hate crimes by Sweden’s second largest city’s district court. Despite their convictions, the three perpetrators, all of whom have prior criminal records, were not slapped with any deportation orders by the judge.
The incident which led to the attack began on the night of April 7 when the newly arrived migrants — 21-year-old Abdel Rahman Wakaa, 21, 21-year-old Hamod Suleyman, and 23-year-old Abdullah Alaswad — shouted anti-gay obscenities at two men holding hands as they arrived at Gothenburg Central Station from Malmo, Nyheter Idag reports.
When the couple stopped walking and turned around to address the Syrians’ behavior, the gang spared no time, and immediately began brutally assaulting the two men. CCTV surveillance cameras captured the entire attack.
The two victims, during an interview with police, told officers that the group of Syrians told them because they’re gay they shouldn’t be out in public. One of the victims, whose partner happens to be an Iraqi migrant, explained to police that attack reminded his partner of the oppression he faced back in his homeland.
During police interrogations, the group of attackers — who required an Arabic interpreter — claimed the brutal assault had nothing to do with them hating gay, but that the gay couple had “talked shit about their honor”. These statements, however, were contradicted by the victims themselves and by several individuals who had witnessed the attack and heard what the Syrians had said to the couple.
Police investigations also brought to light that one of the perpetrators had been reported before for hurling insults at a transvestite, the Swedish news portal Samhällsnytt reported.
Late last month, the Syrians were convicted and sentenced by the Gothenburg District Court for assault and hate crimes. Shockingly, just one of the three men will see the inside of a jail cell, who was sentenced to just three months imprisonment, of which he’ll actually serve two months, as per current practice in the Swedish prison system. The other two attackers, however, were merely handed suspended sentences with a few weeks of community service.
Since the height of the migrant crisis in 2016, gay migrants across Europe have consistently faced abuse from other migrants, as the Associated Press has reported on.
In August, a Nigerian woman was accused of severely injuring another female migrant in a Dutch asylum facility after she threw boiling water on her in an alleged homophobic attack. The victim suffered first and second-degree burns from the attack, Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported.
Last February, a gang of about fifteen Afghan migrants brutally assaulted an Iranian gay man at an asylum home Västmanland, Sweden that had been LGBT certified by the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Rights (RFSL).
In August, news of group called ‘Criminal Justice’ came to light, with the gang beating LGBT people and then sharing the videos with one another in a Telegram group with over 600 members. In one video, a group of Moroccans beat two men, using the Moroccan slur “Zemmel” for gay people during the violent attack.