Syrian immigrant beaten for ‘being gay’ in Sweden

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A Syrian immigrant seeking asylum in Sweden has been severely beaten by a group of people because they thought he was gay.

The homophobic attack took place in the region of Södertälje, Sweden.

Syrian Gabriel Chabo was in the centre of the town on Friday with his brother when a group of several men, who are also believed to be Syrian, approached him.

Chabo told local Swedish outlet Expressen that the men became violent and started to insult him with homophobic slurs.

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They allegedly told Chabo: “If you are going to stay in Sodertalje, you pay money because you are gay.”

The man told the group that he is straight, however the attack escalated and the man began to beat him.

They used weapons to beat him and apparently slammed his head multiple times into a car door.

Chabo has said that he feels lucky to be alive following the violent attack.

“I just thought that I did not want to die. I saw my life pass by in a second,” he said, “My nose is completely skewed. I can not see myself in the mirror. I do not feel good at all.”

As well as being attacked, Chabo says that the beauty salon he owns was vandalised.

Related: A gay Muslim man who married his partner has been threatened with acid attacks.

He believes that he was attacked that because although he is not gay, he is a supporter of LGBT rights.

Now, he has been left scared to go on with his life as normal.

“I’m afraid. I can not work out, do not take my power walks, do not go to work,” he added.

Peter Lindberg, the police station commander in Sodertalje, said that they have not identified any suspects in the attack as yet.

However, Chabo is working closely with the police but he believes the attackers are Syrian because some of the insults they said were in Arabic and Syrian.

The police have not confirmed if they will be charging any possible suspects with a hate crime.

“I cannot live like before. I want to get my life back,” Chabo added.