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Korean gay community warns of assaults on Twitter

According to reports on Twitter there seems to be a group of men in Jongro assaulting gay men at night.

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

13th November 2011 05:04

Alessia Valenza | ILGA Asia

“I was brutally beaten because of homophobia. It happened because I was out with my (homosexual) partner and we were acting like lovers.”

Mr. A wrote on the nation’s largest homosexual community website that he was beaten by a group on the street in Jongro, Seoul, on the 4th of this month for being homosexual. Mr. A wrote that “I was walking with my partner in an alley in Jongro when suddenly three men came over and called us gays and fags and hit us… I have bruises over my entire face from the beating.”

Recently on domestic websites for the homosexual community and on Twitter, incidents of attacks on homosexals in the early morning hours in Jongro are being reported. The Nakwon-dong area of Jongro-gu is a gathering place for many homosexuals. On Twitter there have been an increasing number of warning that there are homophobic lynch mob-style attacks in Jongro.

Another victim, Mr. B, was with his partner in Jongro5-ga at approximately 1:20am on the 29th of last month when three men came from across the street to assault them. One of them wore a mesh mask and the others were at least six feet tall, and beat them mercilessly. Mr. B said that “even now when I drink my left ribs hurt… I hope my attackers are caught.” Late that same night another homosexual in his 20s was attacked by two men.

However, only one incident has been reported to police. The Jongro Police Station received a report that a homosexual man had been attacked by three men in front of a noraebang [karaoke room] in Jongro at midnight on the 5th, and is investigating security camera recordings. The reason for there being so few reports to police, according to Ji Hyeong-tae (a pseudonym), the operator of a Twitter feed dedicated to h0mosexuals’ rights, is that “most of the victims are college students in their 20s who live with their parents or men in their 40s who have families… They have to keep their sexual identity secret and so they don’t got to the police.”

A member of the police said that “on the weekend there are often incidents of harassment and assaults of homosexuals across the country, but most avoid the investigation to avoid ther homosexuality becoming known… Those have not come out are much less likely to make a report to police.”