The recent death of gay man in Chile has aparked public outcry and provoked a debate about homophobia and hate crimes.
Reports say the 24-year-old Daniel Zamudio was reportedly tortured for an hour by his attackers, who stubbed cigarettes out on him, carved swastikas into his body, and mutilated him in other way.
Mr. Zamudio died after 25 days after being viciously assaulted by a group of alleged neo-Nazis in a Santiago park.
The killing of the gay man has triggered calls for the country’s Parliament to pass an anti-discrimination law.
In addition, the United Nations human rights office today urged the Government of Chile to pass a law against discrimination, including on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.
“We also urge Chile to enact hate crime legislation that establishes hatred based on various grounds, including sexual orientation and gender identity, as an aggravating factor for the purposes of criminal prosecution.” – Spokeperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Rupert Colville
Mr. Colville says the killing of young gay man is just the latest reminder of the gravity and prevalence of homophobic violence that exists in all regions.
He stresses that that the case should be seen in the wide context of hate-motivated violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender person around the world.
“This time it happened in Santiago, Chile, but it happens every day on the streets of towns and cities all over the world.” -Mr. Colville
The country’s anti-discrimination law was initially presented in 2005 and is currently before lawmakers, awaiting approval by the lower house.
UN says hate crimes against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people are rising around the world.
The world’s body is urging governments to do much more to eliminate discrimination and prejudice based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Statistics indicated that homophobic-based hate crimes were on the rise in many parts of the world, from New York to Brazil and Honduras to South Africa. Homosexuality also remains a criminal offence in more than 70 countries.
UN asserts that the stigma and discrimination faced by many lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people was hampering an effective response to the disease.