A 16-year-old teen in Italy was reportedly beaten by his uncle and three other men because he put a rainbow bandanna on his backpack.
The alleged attack, reported by the social activist group Arci Cosenza, took place last Tuesday in Calabria and left the youth with facial injuries, broken bones, and more. The uncle, who was reportedly tipped off by the youth’s dad, loaded the beaten teen into an awaiting car and threatened to take him to his death.
The alleged beating took place not long after the youth decided to hang out with friends, Silvo Cilento, president of Arci Cosenza, posted to social media.
Tipped off by the teen’s father, though, the youth’s paternal uncle took his car and tracked down the teen. He approached the teen saying his type wasn’t wanted in their family.
According to Cilento, the uncle then “slaps him first, which then turns into a punch and immediately after a kick, a series of kicks.”
The uncle is said to have called three friends to assist in the assault, eventually leaving the teen with four broken ribs, a deviated septum, and other injuries. As the men loaded the injured teen into the awaiting car, the uncle had ominous words for the boy.
“Now you die at home,” the uncle allegedly said.
Cilento provided only a few other details on the victim. He said the victim was sent to the hospital and that child protective services were called.
“Physically the boy is better, he will bounce back,” Cilento posted. “Emotionaly and psychologically, I don’t dare to imagine how he is, maybe I don’t want to imagine it.”
He also noted that the attack happened on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, which he said proves how much the day is still needed.
In a later post, Cilento said the group was publicizing the case now to bring awareness to the issue.
“We don’t want to exploit the tragic event but to start constructive actions in the region,” Cilento said in the post. “The only hope is that what happened will make you reflect and mobilize as many forces as possible to prevent such acts.”
Cilento had earlier assured readers the case is proceeding and that he had nothing but praise for the police and medical personnel. However, he did ask the public to respect the privacy and safety of the victim.
“Don’t ask me anything else, for matters of protection it’s necessary to adopt a closed and confidential attitude,” Cilento asked.