Amsterdam to combat anti-gay violence
9 June 2005
AMSTERDAM — The Amsterdam City Council, police and gay lobby group COC have agreed to jointly combat the discrimination of gays and lesbians in the Dutch capital.
The agreement was prompted after a gay US journalist, Chris Crain, was assaulted in Amsterdam on Queen’s Day. He was allegedly bashed by Moroccan men.
The attack caused shock waves in the international gay community because Amsterdam has a reputation for being a safe and popular city for gays.
However, COC said “a number of recent incidents” have indicated the acceptance of homosexuality in Amsterdam has seriously declined.
Consequently, Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen, Social Affairs Alderman Ahmed Aboutaleb, deputy police chief Bert Wijbenga and representatives of the national and Amsterdam branches of COC met on Wednesday to discuss a plan of action.
Wijbenga said police will improve the registration of lodged reports involving homosexuality.
Together with COC, police will also investigate cases of physical and verbal abuse aimed at gays and lesbians to gain a better picture of the problem.
The police chief also admitted police had ignored several incidents in the past, but promised to enter ongoing discussions with COC to specifically crackdown on discrimination.
“Thanks to these talks, several projects of COC will be carried out with haste,” the COC project manager in Amsterdam said.
The organisation will be a visible part of city multicultural events and more information will be given to students at schools. COC will also become more active in assisting immigrant gays in areas of care and support, information and meetings.
The Amsterdam City Council is supporting the initiatives.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news