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Organiser of Amsterdam’s Gay Pride boat parade victim of gay bashing

DutchAmsterdam.nl — The organiser of Amsterdam’s Gay Pride boat parade, which will take place next week, has become a victim of gay bashing.

After an evening on the town Hugo Braakhuis kissed a friend goodbye at Rembrandtplein when a group of young men starting taunting them.

When his friend reacted to their “Cancer Homos” insults he was immediate hit. When he fell to the ground the boys began kicking his body, leaving him bruised and wounded.

Braakhuis was hit as well, but was not wounded. “That is because I defended myself, and I delivered some blows as well,” he says.

Asked by a reporter for local newspaper De Telegraaf whether he could describe the boys, Braakhuis said, “They boys looked like Moroccans, eighteen or nineteen years old. But there was a blond guy as well.”

Police arrived quickly and caught one of the boys in the act of committing a crime.

Four boys ranging in age from 19 to 21 were arrested. Hours later they were released, but police say they are still considered to be suspects. Police did not want to confirm whether any of the arrested boys were of Moroccan descend, but is asking for witnesses of the incident to come forward. A fifth boy involved in the attack ran off and is still being sought.

Gay Pride Amsterdam

Braakhuis is founder, and currently a board member, of ProGay — organisers of the popular boat parade during the annual Amsterdam Gay Pride event, which this year takes place from July 26 through August 2.

Highlight of the yearly event is the Gay Pride boat parade through Amsterdam’s canals. Last year, half a million people watched the 13th version of that parade.

In recent years there has been an increase in violence against gays in Amsterdam. Much, though certainly not all, of the violence is committed by problem youth of Moroccan descend.

Amsterdam Gay Capital

The City of Amsterdam recently launched a program meant to profile and promote the city internationally as ‘Amsterdam Gay Capital.’ One of its aims is to intensify its approach to combat discrimination of, and violence against, gays.

Last updated CET (Central European Time)

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