Shakiri, the leader of LGBT United Macedonia, was heading home at around 9pm when he heard people shouting gay slurs and telling him “You are all going to die!”
He started running but his assailants overtook him and started punching him in the stomach. Gay Star News reports Shakiri is still traumatized, but resting at his home.
Though Macedonia has been a contender for membership in the EU since 2005, it’s hardly a paradise for gays: Family rejection, job discrimination and police harassment are routine, and the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA–Europe) classifies it as the worst country in the Balkans regarding LGBT rights.
Given its neighbors, that’s saying something.
“Hate speech by political leaders and in national media often leads to attacks, as violent individuals feel their actions become legitimate’, members of the European Parliament Intergroup on LGBT Rights said in a statement.