UPDATE: Fifth arrest linked to Homophobic attack on UK lesbian couple
Police in London say they have arrested a fifth suspect who was allegedly involved in the homophobic attack against two women on one of London's iconic double-decker buses.
Authorities didn't identify the victims in the May 30th attack, but Melania Geymonat posted an image on her Facebook page showing her bloodied face and that of her girlfriend's.
Geymonat said in the post that they were on the upper deck of the bus when a gang of "hooligans" demanded that they kiss. The women tried to reason with the straight men, but the incident escalated.
Police said Saturday all of suspects are between 15 and 18 years old.
Detective Superintendent Andy Cox says that while attacks like this are rare on London buses, extra uniformed and plain clothes officers will be out on patrol this weekend to offer reassurance.
There has been a growing number of violent incidents, discrimination and intimidation tactics targetting LGBT2Q+ communities around the world. The rise of far-right politicians, parties and ideologies in the Americas, European Union and Africa is a threat to the human rights of LGBTQ+ people.
“Politicians are using (LGBT+ rights) as a wedge issue,” said Evelyne Paradis, executive director of ILGA-Europe, a regional LGBT+ rights advocacy group.
Montreal is not immune to homophobia
Facebook / Cégep Marie-Victorin
Canada and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, are seen as global leaders when it comes to acceptance and equality of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens. Trudeau became the first sitting Prime Minister to ever attend a Canadian gay Pride celebration, but that doesn't mean Canada or Quebec are immune to such homophobic acts.
On the eve of international Pride Month, students and administrators at Montreal's cégep Marie-Victorin were shocked by an act of homophobic vandalism that targeted the school's LGBT comittee room.
Painted on the school's rainbow wall were the messages "F*** the gay (sic)," and others referring to LGBTQ students as (pedophiles) and sluts.
In a written statement sent to CJAD800, school spokesperson Nathalie Baumgartner said Cégep Marie-Victorin "denounced" the act of violence, adding that the school's security staff had been asked to launch an investigation to identify suspects. Montreal Police have since been called in, but no suspects or arrests have been made related to the hate-based crime.
On Thursday May 16th, Montreal police responded to a 9-1-1 call about a violent incident in the gay village, near the corner of Sainte-Catherine and Alexandre-DeSève streets. A man in his early twenties was pepper-sprayed in the eyes around 10:30pm.
Urgences Santé evaluated and treated the man at the scene, who had no other serious injuries.
Police confirmed an investigation was launched, including a review of security cameras in the area, but no suspects have been identified so far.
* With files from the Associated Press