Several hundred people took part yesterday in a silent march to commemorate the murder of Ihsane Jarfi, whose death in 2013 was seen as the first clear case of a homophobic hate crime in Brussels. The ceremony also included the inauguration of a gable-wall painting of Ihsane (photo).
The occasion coincided with International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. The event began on the Muntplein, where musicians and poets paid tribute, as well as the victim’s father, who made an address.
The march was the fourth to be organised in Ihsane’s memory. For the first time, however, it involved the inauguration of a house-sized portrait on the gable of a house in the city centre, the work of artist Anthea Missy.
Later in the evening, a celebration took place at Bozar when artworks were auctioned off in favour of the Ihsane Jarfi Foundation, set up to combat homophobia. Also taking part were La Diva and LGBT activist Bisi Alimi from Nigeria, who had to flee his country because of his orientation.
Meanwhile the Walloon parliament in Namur has refused a request to fly a rainbow flag on the occasion of the international day, claiming a 1974 law which governs which symbols may be flown from public buildings.
The 1974 law, a representative of the parliament stated, allows the display of the national flag and flags of foreign visitors, as well as the flags of international organisations of which Belgium is a member, such as the EU and the United Nations.