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MOSCOW — A senior Dutch diplomat has been beaten up and had a crude anti-gay slogan scrawled on a mirror at his home in Moscow.
Two men posing as electricians bound and beat Onno Elderenbosch, the 60-year-old deputy head of mission at the Netherlands embassy in Moscow, after forcing their way into his apartment Tuesday night, Oct. 16.
The men ransacked his apartment, drew a heart and “LGBT” (standing for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual) in pink lipstick on a mirror, then left without taking anything.
The incident comes at a time of international condemnation of new laws forbidding the promotion of homosexual lifestyles to minors.
Last week, Dutch actors appearing at a St. Petersburg theater festival spoke out in public against the laws.
It also comes days after a Russian diplomat, Dmitry Borodin, was assaulted by Dutch police in The Hague, straining diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Dutch police forcibly arrested the Russian diplomat in front of his two small children; they reported that the neighbors had allegedly sent reports about child abuse taking place at the apartment.
The Russian diplomat was detained for several hours, breaching rules on diplomatic immunity.
Russia media today were quick to draw parallels between the two incidents, dubbing the attack on Elderenbosch a “mirror image” of the Borodin incident, noting that both men hold positions at the same diplomatic level.
The latest incident is likely to worsen relations between the two countries, already strained by the arrest of the 30 crew aboard the Dutch-flagged Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise campaigning against oil drilling in the Arctic.
Tuesday evening’s attack on the Dutch diplomat occurred when he returned home to find the lift in his apartment block not working. Climbing to his fourth-floor flat, he found two men posing as electricians working on the lift’s control panel.
Seeing there was no light on the entire floor he offered to check the lights in his apartment, where he was pushed to the ground by the two men and bound with tape.
Elderenbosch was not badly hurt in the attack and has not filed an assault complaint, according to Russian authorities.
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