Convert beaten up for 'frequenting the church of Christians'

Country: Italy

Date of incident: November 12, 2023

A 28-year-old Tunisian Christian convert was beaten and robbed for 'attending Christian church'. According to media reports, the man was attacked on the evening of November 12, 2023, in the Ponte San Giovanni district of Perugia by some fellow countrymen, while he was walking with a friend. Now the police have issued three pre-trial detention orders for crimes committed with the aggravating circumstance of religious discrimination.

On April 13, 2024, the Public Prosecutor's Office at the Court of Perugia issued a pre-trial detention order against three Tunisian citizens, investigated for the crimes of threatening, personal injury and robbery committed with the aggravating circumstance of religious discrimination.

The investigation developed following the complaints made by the victim, a 28-year-old Tunisian man, a legal immigrant on the national territory, who was attacked on the evening of November 12, 2023. Specifically, the three men, after approaching him and accusing him of 'frequenting the church of Christians', threatened him and violently beat him with kicks and punches, snatching a necklace from him, before he managed to break free and escape. The victim had to be treated in the local hospital. 

On 17 November, the young man, who was in a public shop in the same neighbourhood, was again approached by two of the three men believed to be responsible for the previous attack, who demanded that he withdraw his complaint and stop attending 'the Catholic church'.

In the investigations the motive of religious discrimination was confirmed. According to the General Investigations and Special Operations Division, the victim had undertaken a conversion to Christianity for some months, attending a local parish and participating in some religious celebrations, which was not accepted by his fellow countrymen of Muslim faith.

Due to the seriousness of the alleged offences, the numerous police records of the suspects and the high risk of reiteration of the crime, the three suspects were ordered to be remanded in custody.

Sources: Il Messagero,

Image: Pixaby (symbolic image)