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This Gay Nurse In Spain Was Killed In A Suspected Homophobic Attack And People Are Demanding Justice

Protests have broken out across Spain after Samuel Luiz, a 24-year-old gay nursing assistant, was beaten to death in a suspected homophobic attack on Saturday, July 10.

Luiz’s friend, Lina, told El Mundo that he was attacked by multiple people early Saturday after they stepped out of a nightclub to make a video call in A Coruña, a city in northwestern Spain’s Galicia region.

Thousands of people gathered across A Coruña, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Salamanca, Bilbao and Zaragoza, waving rainbow flags to demand justice for Luiz.

Lina said a man and a woman passing by accused Luiz of trying to record them, and the man threatened to kill him if he didn’t stop filming, yelling a homophobic slur.

Lina said the two tried to explain that they were just making a video call but the man attacked Luiz and left him with a badly bruised face.

spain samuel luiz lgbt protest
Protesters are seen holding a large rainbow flag as they take part in a protest to demand justice for Samuel Luiz and to condemn hate crimes against LGTBI people, at Plaza de la Constitucion square in Malaga, Spain. (Photo by Jesus Merida/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

After Lina went back into the club to call their other two friends, the assailant returned a few minutes later with 12 other people who then proceeded to beat Luiz unconscious, CCTV footage showed.

The beating did not last much more than a minute, but it was so brutal that Luiz was mortally wounded, according to La Voz de Galicia, Galicia’s largest newspaper.

Emergency services tried to save him for two hours, but he later died at a local hospital.

Protestors mourned for Luiz's death.

By Thursday July 8, police said that they had arrested four people, aged between 20 and 25, suspected to have been involved in the killing. 

Authorities have not ruled out further arrests.

spain samuel luiz murder protest
LGTB activists demonstrate over the death of Samuel Luiz, who was attacked outside a club in A Coruna, in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain July 5, 2021. (Photo by Albert Llop/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The violent attack sparked public rage, and hashtags such as #JusticiaParaSamuel and #JusticeForSamuel trended on Twitter.

Thousands of people gathered across A Coruña, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Salamanca, Bilbao and Zaragoza, waving rainbow flags to demand justice for Luiz.

A placard reading ¨Justice for Samuel¨ is raised during the demonstration.

Spain’s prime minister denounced the killing and said Luiz’s killers would be brought to justice, tweeting, “We will not take a step backward in rights and liberties. Spain will not tolerate it.”

Hashtags such as #JusticiaParaSamuel and #JusticeForSamuel trended on Twitter.

Just last week, Spain’s government passed a draft bill that would allow anyone over the age of 14 to self-identify their gender legally in what was hailed as a “giant step for LGBT rights.”

Sissi Hu contributed reporting from Valencia, Spain.

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