The prosecutor’s office is requiring that the three teenagers thought to be responsible for the brutal murder of a gay man in Belgium over the weekend be placed in closed institutions.
In closed youth institutions, where people are not allowed to enter and exit freely, a young person receives individual and/or group guidance and education. Juveniles must also spend the night there.
Two of the boys are 17 years old and one is 16 years old. All three of them turned themselves into police the day after they are suspected to have fatally stabbed and beat to death a gay man that they lured to a secluded park outside of Antwerp using a fake profile on a gay dating app.
The three teenagers admitted to their role in the violent murder but said that their intent had only been to rob the man, according to various local media.
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The Public Prosecutor's Office of East Flanders, where the crime occurred, stressed that the motive was under investigation and that it was not yet clear whether it was a homophobic crime.
Nevertheless, politicians across Belgium have responded in condemnation of the murder and expressed support for the LGBTQ community, including Prime Minister Alexander De Croo who ordered that the rainbow flag representing gay pride be flown at Rue de la Loi 16.
“There is no room for hatred in our country,” he tweeted. “Love wins.”
The 16-year-old comes from Kieldrecht, a section of the municipality of Beveren, and one of the 17-year-olds is from Verrebroek, also in Beveren. The other teenager is from Antwerp.
The Brussels Times