Friday 10 July 2020

Teenagers won’t be charged with hate crime after attack on gay couple

Four teenagers facing court after attacking a gay couple walking hand in hand through in Arnhem earlier this year will not be charged with hate crimes, the public prosecution department said on Friday.

Instead the four, ranging in age from 14 to 16,will be charged with assault. ‘The investigation has not shown than discrimination or hatred of homosexuals was the reason behind the attack,’ the public prosecution department said in a statement.

‘Given the interest in the media and the public impression of what happened, the prosecutor will outline the reasoning during the trial,’ the statement said.

The assault on Jasper and Ronnie Vernes-Sewratan led to a storm of protest in the Dutch media with calls for men to walk hand in hand as a sign of solidarity. The leading Dutch gay rights organisation, the COC, called for the new coalition to take measures, including tougher prison sentences, to tackle the rising frequency of homophobic attacks.

The four teenagers will appear in court on December 19 and the hearing will take place behind closed doors. Originally five youths were arrested in connection with the case but one has been released without charge.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.