Dutch Men Are Holding Hands To Show Solidarity With Victims Of Homophobic Attack

Dutch politicians and celebrities are stepping out, hand in hand, to fight against homophobia.

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Dutch men across the world are holding hands with each other in defiance against an alleged homophobic attack on two gay men.

Earlier this week, politicians including the Dutch deputy prime minister and finance minister, United Nations delegates in New York and embassy staff in London joined hands as a symbol of unity with the LGBTQ community.

The move comes as a result of an attack on married couple Jasper Vernes-Sewratan and Ronnie Sewratan-Vernes, who were assaulted by as many as eight men on Sunday night during a walk in Arnhem, the Netherlands, according to New Europe.

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The attack has sparked outrage across the Netherlands and prompted journalist Barbara Berend to suggest men hold hands to show support for the victims of homophobic violence and homosexuals around the world.

Liberal D66 party leader Alexander Pechtold was spotted holding hands with his party colleague Wouter Koolmees outside the Hague on Monday, and told reporters: 'In the Netherlands, we think it's quite normal to express who you are but apparently for some people it's not. Particularly not in daily life, so I think it's very important that we show this week that it's absolutely normal.'

Elsewhere around the world, Labour leader Lodewijk Asscher held hands with the President of the Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, while other male politicians shared images of themselves holding hands with their male colleagues using the hashtags #handinhand and #allemannenhandinhand.

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Following the homophobic attack, four teenage boys reportedly surrendered to the police while another two were arrested, according to the publication. Their ages ranged from 14 to 20 years old.

Despite Netherlands becoming the first country in the world to legalise same sex marriage in 2001, Human Rights Watch reports there were 1,574 reports of homophobic violence in Holland, last year.

According to the publication, Dutch authorities are cracking down on homophobic violence and have enforced a police team called 'Pink Police Force' of LGBT police officers specialist in investigating homophobic hate crimes.

Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, who is currently in the process of building a new cabinet in Parliament told reporters following Monday's cabinet talks: 'New government or not, this is top priority.'

We're glad to hear it.

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