A gay man in Turin, Italy has been brutally beaten by 12 attackers who told him: “You “f**king faggot, we’ll kill you.”

Leonardo Ranieri, 53, was admitted to the local Molinette hospital with multiple lesions, bruises and a fractured septum after the attack on January 2, according to Italian outlet GayNews.



Ranieri, who underwent heart surgery in November, was beaten after a dozen young men in the courtyard of the building he lives in with his partner asked whether he had a cigarette.

When he said no, they punched and kicked him, stealing his purse and house keys.

The victim said that throughout the violence, his neighbours remained indifferent, with one even reportedly saying: “Crazy and dangerous people like you should be burned” as they closed their door.

“When homophobia hits you but it does not break you”

— Leonardo Ranieri

Ranieri posted a photo of his bruised and bloody face to Facebook, with a message in Italian which translates as: “Against homophobia.”

He added: “When provocation must shake consciences,” according to La Repubblica.

“I decided to publish the violence, let’s not let the guard down,” he added. “When homophobia hits you but it does not break you.”

Attack on gay man in Turin worryingly similar to another recent incident

The attack on Ranieri has echoes of when a 19-year-old gay Italian man was savagely beaten by an unidentified person in Turin, in July.

The teenager and a female friend were approached by a group of people in a crowded underground station who mocked the way he walked, saying he was “strutting like a faggot.”

The man then told his victim: “Even if you’re gay, you are still a man and I can beat you to death,” before punching him in the back of his neck, lifting him up and smashing him to the ground.

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Nighttime shot of Turin, where multiple gay men have been beaten recently
Two attacks on gay men in Turin have been reported in the past six months (Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty)

People allegedly went on about their night, drinking and laughing, choosing not to intervene despite the victim’s friend crying desperately.

“There were a lot of people but no one defended me,” he told the police.

Activists rush to support gay Turin victim

Francesca Puopolo, a spokesperson for local LGBT+ rights group Arcigay Torino, drew comparisons between the attack in July and the one on Ranieri.

She said the attack had its origins in “the security of the group, consisting of a dozen young men, against a single person, considered guilty because of his [sexual] visibility.

“To worsen the situation was the indifference of the neighbours, who witnessed the beating without intervening.”

She also blamed “the current national political climate, which shows just as much and more deafening indifference to violence against those who are considered different and, in this case, wrong.

“The violence is further aggravated by the threatening climate that has been created around Leonardo after the attack: it is urgent and necessary to raise awareness.”

Puopolo vowed that her organisation would move to help Ranieri and other gay people in Turin, saying: “We at Arcigay Torino cannot stand and watch.”

She added: “Our solidarity and our closeness go to Leonardo. We will make available our listening services and our legal and psychological support.”




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