Gay man beaten and abducted for two hours in homophobic attack shocks France

The latest homophobic attack in France has prompted President Emmanuel Macron and the government to commit to more action to tackle increasing rates of anti-gay crime in the country.

A 34-year-old man, named as Romain in the French press in order to protect his identity, was attacked after a night out on October 24. Details of his ordeal have shocked the country.

Roman told French LGBT+ news outlet GayViking he had gone to a club in Rouen, a city in the northern region of Normandy, with some other gay friends. He said he and his friend met two other men, whom he continued partying with after his friends decided to go home.

Romain accepted the men’s invitation to an after-party at another friend’s home, but when he got inside their car, he became trapped. The man sitting in the passenger’s seat moved to the back of the car and started hitting him furiously.

“Punches in the face, on the body, everywhere. The strength was such that my head was bouncing against the window like a ball. I was scared, I didn’t know what was happening, I thought I was going to die,” Romain recalled.

Unable to leave the car, Romain was subject to the men’s violence and homophobic slurs for two hours.

Supporters of LGBT rights hold a banner saying “Homophobia kills,” during a rally in 2012 in Toulouse, southern France. (Pascal Pavani/AFP/Getty Images)

Romain told GayViking he thought he’d become one of those people the newspapers talk about: “Young man killed because of his homosexuality.”

During the attack, Romain’s wallet fell out of his pocket and the two men decided to demand he took out money from a cash machine. Not happy with that, they then demanded he take out €1,500 (£1,300) in cash from a bank, which by that time had opened. After a bank employee denied the sudden request, the two men left Romain unattended, so he took the opportunity to ask for help and end his ordeal.

Doctors recommended Romain to allow for 10 days of rest for his numerous injuries to heal. After he decided to go public with his story, images of his bloodshot eyes and bruised face, back and hands aired on television channels and news outlets, prompting outrage and calls for the government to take action.

Social media users reacted with outrage at the images of Romain’s battered body. (Screenshot/Twitter)

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