Gay Refugee Nearly Stabbed To Death In Dutch Asylum Center

Witnesses say the man was attacked after a fellow migrant learned he was gay.

An attack in a Dutch refugee center was motivated by the attacker learning his victim was gay, according to an LGBT rights organization.

In September, an unnamed Iranian man was stabbed at an asylum center in Bellingwolde in northern Holland. Initially, police believed the incident was drug-related, but the group LGBT Asylum Support says witnesses claim it was a result of victim being gay.

Asylum seekers sit on a bench near the former recreation park, which serves as a reception center, in the village of Orange, The Netherlands, on October 9, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ANP / OLAF KRAAK +++ NETHERLANDS OUT        (Photo credit should read OLAF KRAAK/AFP/Getty Images)
OLAF KRAAK/AFP/Getty

A 34-year-old Tunisian man has been arrested, but LGBT Asylum Support wants the investigation reopened to address the new findings. “At least it looks like a good idea… to reinvestigate the case,” said the group’s president, Sandro Kortekaas.

The young victim man had just left the room of an Iranian family, where he was celebrating his 26th birthday, when the assault occurred.

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He was immediately attacked and a knife wound in his thigh severed a main artery. He fell to the ground in a pool of his own blood before paramedics rushed him to the hospital.

He survived, and has since moved to a new asylum center.

“The central asylum centre authority gives a false sense of security,” insists Kortekaas. “Even if the victim has been moved, he is still confronted by friends of the perpetrator.”

Authorities say they are looking into allegations the crime was motivated by homophobia.

In December 2015, five other gay asylum-seekers were moved to new accommodation in Holland after being attacked by other refugees. Five men—three from Syria, one from Iran and one from Iraq—were moved after being spat on and attacked in a Amsterdam relocation center. Plans were announced to provide a separate wing for LGBT refugees.

Police officers face protesters during a demonstration against the plans to open a refugee centre for 500 regufees in Heesch on January 18, 2016.  As Europe grapples with the worst migrant crisis since World War II, the Netherlands took in a record number of asylum-seekers in 2015, receiving more than 54,000 by the end of November. / AFP / ANP / Robert Vos / Netherlands OUT        (Photo credit should read ROBERT VOS/AFP/Getty Images)
ROBERT VOS/AFP/Getty

As the number of asylum-seekers in Europe swells, attacks on LGBT migrants are all-too-common: The first center for LGBT refugees opened last year in Berlin, where the the Lesbian and Gay Foundation in Germany (LSVD) reported nearly 100 incidents of violence against gay migrants between August and December 2015 alone.

For more on international LGBT rights, visit Logo’s Global Ally page.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
@ItsDanAvery