VIENNA: Two apparent homophobic attacks were reported following Berlin’s annual pro-LGBTQ Christopher Street Day celebration on Saturday, police said Sunday.
In one incident, two girls, aged 16 and 17, and a 15-year-old boy were confronted by a group of nine people in Berlin’s Mitte neighbourhood on Saturday evening. The group approached the two girls and made anti-gay remarks to the two girls, police said, presumably because of their clothing.
When the 16-year-old girl answered, one man in the group knocked her hat off her head and tripped her, causing her to fall to the ground. When she stood back up, the same man punched her in the face, then fled.
The girl suffered light injuries, including a wound on her lip, but declined help from emergency services.
In central Berlin at around 3:15 a.m. Sunday, a group of eight people insulted a 32-year-old man. As he ran away, they caught up to him and physically attacked him, kicking his head and upper body while he lay on the ground.
A woman passing by saw the attack and stood in front of the victim, at which point the attackers fled.
The man sustained cuts and bruises and was treated on an outpatient basis.
The incidents came at the end of a day in which hundreds of thousands came out to support LGBTQ rights around the city. Final police estimates put the overall crowd size at 350,000, after revising its initial estimate of 150,000.
The parade itself was peaceful, police said.
Saturday was the first time Berlin’s annual celebration had taken place largely without restrictions since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic: It was canceled in 2020 and significantly smaller last year due to pandemic-related rules.