Police find no criminal offense in alleged homophobic assault last year

Take note – story published 2 years and 11 months ago

At the end of last year, a reportedly homophobia-based physical and emotional attack was carried out against Professor Deniss Hanovs of Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU). Police currently say there is nothing to base criminal proceedings on, Latvian Radio reported May 25.

"There were two men approaching us at the market in Ķengarags, by flower kiosks. They passed us by and then began to publicly and loudly comment about my body - backside. He kicked me in the back with his foot. I turned around and asked, what are you doing, I will call the police.  One of them spoke hateful words, calling me gay, only in Russian, and I don't want to  repeat everything at the moment. And then he said he wanted to have sex with me," Hanovs said at the time.

"I hid there [in a flower kiosk], and I held the handle, because they wanted to break in there, screaming and shouting. One of them exposed and pressed his genitals to the glass door of the kiosk, screaming at me to open the door," Hanovs told Latvian Radio back in November.

Chief of the criminal police department of Riga Ķengarags precinct Vladimirs Klaikalts told Latvian Radio that “a decision was made to cease the criminal proceedings (..) in relation to Mr Hanovs, because there is no notable criminal offence in the event”.

“At the same time, material was issued on 21 May regarding the possible detection of an administrative violation,” the police representative said, noting that the case was a case of hooliganism, where criminal liability is not provided.

Police found no homophobic attack in the case. “Mr Hanovs can appeal to the prosecutor's office and get acquainted with the materials of the criminal case. It's his right,” Klaikalts said.

There were allegedly two attackers, and only one has been identified. 

Deniss Hanovs considers that such police action clearly shows its inability to detect homophobia-based attacks, because, as seen in the decision provided by the police, the suspect himself has made it clear that the conflict has started because the suspect has found the way Hanovs and his partner were walking.

Hanovs is going to appeal the decision.

“This suspected man himself has clearly confessed in his testimony that the fact that he had seen two men walking down the street, in his opinion, they were very close to each other, and had hugged around the waist, that it was inappropriate behavior to him, although if a heterosexual couple were doing that, it would have caused nothing to anyone. And it seemed to be indecent with two men, plus I would note that there was no such walking manner. And the fact that this man has noted this, is already a homophobic attitude. And all of this is in police testimony, and the police themselves are absolutely unaware because it simply obviously lacks the competence, knowledge and skills that it is not just homophobic thinking. The attitude is also in action,” Hanovs said.

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