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Dutch diplomat in Moscow beaten by unidentified men

October 17, 2013, 11:33 UTC+3
This fact would have hardly made news of the day, if not for the recent incident with beating up of Russian diplomat Dmitry Borodin in the Netherlands
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MOSCOW, October 17 (Itar-Tass). — It has become known that a Dutch diplomat in Moscow, Onno Elderenbosch, has been beaten up in his apartment in the Russian capital. He has stated that he was beaten up by unknown persons who had left the images of a heart and the words LGBT on a mirror. “This fact would have hardly made news of the day, if not for the recent incident with beating up of Russian diplomat Dmitry Borodin in the Netherlands. The authorities of both countries have denied parallels between the two events, which have been immediately drawn by the press.

This story is similar to the incident with Russia’s diplomat Dmitry Borodin in the Netherlands on the night to October 6, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper writes. Armed men in camouflage uniforms broke into his apartment and beat him up right before his children’s eyes, the newspaper recalls. He was held in custody for three hours and was released without an apology. This has caused extreme indignation of the Russian side, and even the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, and after him the whole Russian establishment demanded an apology, the investigation and punishment of those responsible. The Dutch side agreed to apologize if the investigation reveals a violation of the Vienna Convention. Three days after the incident, the Dutch foreign minister presented apologies, but said that the police acted professionally.

Sergei Ivanov, deputy chairman of the Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building in the State Duma lower house of Russia’s parliament, suggested in an interview with the newspaper that “if the diplomat had something to do with the LGBT, he could have been attacked by the people leading the traditional life, not because he is a Dutch diplomat.”

The LGBT community believes that version is not unfounded. Nikolai Alexeyev, a leader of the community, said: “This is a mockery of the Netherlands and the fact that they have a liberal attitude to representatives of sexual minorities.”

First of all, the amazing coincidence is striking: Elderenbosch is in the same rank as the Borodin: both diplomats are the deputy chiefs of mission, the Novye Izvestia newspaper notes. The possible interrelation of the two incidents suggests itself. “Of course, it’s stupid to assume that Moscow could thus respond to the incident with Borodin. It’s more like an ordinary criminal attack,” a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry told the newspaper, stressing that a diplomat, “like as any person” might become a victim of thieves or vandals.

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