One of the teenagers arrested for brutally attacking a gay couple for holding hands has claimed that he was “provoked”.
Jasper Vernes-Sewratan and Ronnie Sewratan-Vernes were attacked by a group men who saw them holding hands in the eastern city of Arnhem during the early hours of last Sunday morning (April 2).
According to the teenager’s lawyer, his client has alleged that the gay couple threw the first punch. He also denied claims that a bolt cutter was used in the attack.
Bizarrely, the lawyer then went on to insist that the couple’s sexual orientation was ‘irrelevant’ to the case, reports Gay Star News.
In response to the allegations, the couple told the NL Times: “We are not fighters and we can not find ourselves in that story.
“We really don’t want to go into it too much. We stand behind our story and want to stay calm now. Things aren’t going too well and we are a little overwhelmed. We now want to focus on recovery.”
The brutal homophobia attack sparked outrage in The Netherlands, which became the first country in the world to legalise equal marriage back in 2001, and thousands went to march through the streets of Amsterdam in protest.
Despite the public outcry, the five teenagers were released from custody yesterday (April 8).
“They are still considered suspects. The magistrate decided to release the boys because he saw no risk of recurrence,” said a report.