Unidentified persons have attacked an LGBT man in Montenegro and carved a cross on his chest, the head of the LGBT Forum Progress, Bojana Jokić, said on Thursday as the crime drew widespread condemnation in the country.
The attack took place on Wednesday evening outside the family home of a young man who was going to see his mother.
“Last night a member of the LGBT Forum Progress was attacked with a sharp instrument, suffering injuries to the genitalia. A cross was carved on his chest and his money and watch were stolen,” Jokić wrote on Twitter, appealing to law enforcement authorities to identify the attackers as soon as possible.
Police said they were investigating.
The assault was condemned by state officials, the embassies of the United States and the European Union, non-governmental human rights organisations and the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Ombudsman Siniša Bjeković said he was appalled by this hate crime. He recalled that LGBTIQ persons in Montenegro had been subjected to online hate speech, harassment and attacks for quite a while. “That atmosphere has now spilled into the streets, which is unacceptable and which we as society need to stand up to,” he added.
The head of the EU Delegation to Montenegro, Oana Cristina Popa, said she was appalled by the attack, adding “that there must be zero tolerance to any form of violence against vulnerable groups.”
She said that the EU expects a “swift and effective investigation” and the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
The Serbian Orthodox parish priest of Podgorica, Nikola Pejović, condemned the assault as “an inhumane act”, stressing that “the cross is a sign of love for one's neighbour, especially those who are different”.