MGRM and aditus wish to issue a statement with respect to the sentence decided in court today, where a trans person was assaulted on his place of work by a restaurant owner. We will, first of all, condemn the free-for-all attitude where a restaurant owner feels he can physically assault a patron who gets in touch in order to complain for not having been served adequately.
Also importantly, we would like to clarify that unlike certain early reports in the media, the victim is a trans man, using the pronouns he/him. We would also like to emphasise that both the victim and a witness stated that the aggressor insulted the victim during the assault, telling him that he was “not a real man, but a woman”.
This happened at his place of work, where as a result of the assault, the victim was outed as a trans person in front of colleagues with whom this had not been raised.
Sadly, regarding the charge of hate crime, the court stated that the evidence produced did not satisfy the requirements of the court.
A third accusation was also dropped as it had become time-barred, which is also a trend we had been noticing in similar cases. This resulted in the accused being found guilty only of having assaulted the victim.
We have been following this case for a number of years, and provided support to the victim. We will repeat our appeal that anyone who is the victim of hate crime to approach us and access our free mental health and legal services.
We also appeal to lawyers and human rights activists to read the sentence well in order to ensure that future cases present sufficient evidence to prove that the person is really LGBTIQ+.
We will also be working with our legal advisors in order to produce guidelines in this regard.