Gay Latvian Paramedic Dies After Being Burnt Alive In Horrific ‘Homophobic Attack.’
A GAY man from Latvia died of burns after a disgruntled neighbour allegedly doused him with flammable liquid. Normunds Kindzulis, a 29-year-old medical assistant, suffered burns on 85 per cent of his body on April 23 in the sleepy, historic town of Tukums.
According to police reports, a scuffle had allegedly broken out in the apartment complex he lived in, and he had his clothing soaked with fuel and was set on fire in what advocates are urging the police to consider as a homophobic hate crime.
Another gay man suffered burns as he desperately sought to save Kindzulis as he was engulfed in a fire that engulfed the building. Kindzulis was rushed to Riga, the capital of Latvia, for treatment. In a tragic turn, however, the European Pride Organisers Association confirmed on Twitter Wednesday that it had learned that Kindzulis had passed away.
He was, the group said, a “victim of [a] homophobic arson attack. Bringing someone to the brink of suicide is also a crime,” officer Andrejs Grishins told reporters on Thursday, the Tukums Independent News reported.
Kindzulis’s biography was one of strength and vigilance. He had received homophobic death threats in the past and fled to Tukums, which is some 70 kilometres from Riga. But in the quiet town, he was met with all-too-familiar violence and was physically assaulted at least four times.
The second victim told the Tukums Independent News, a local newspaper, how the pair had reported to the authorities on how their neighbour threatened and jeered at them in the five-storey building they lived in.
“We reported these threats to both the police and the neighbour’s workplace, but there was no reaction. We had to wait for someone to be mutilated or killed,” he said.
In response to the incident, Latvia’s president Egils Levits tweeted “there is no place for hate in Latvia.” Critics point out that the EU recently passed legislation that defines family as exclusively the “union of a male and female person.”
Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš said the “heinous crime” should be “thoroughly investigated.”