Antwerp police investigate anti-LGBTQ stickers as hate crime
Antwerp police have started an investigation into anti-LGBTQ stickers that have appeared in the northern port city. On Sunday Antwerp police received a spate of complaints about the stickers that show a barred rainbow flag and feature the words ‘just normal’. By Tuesday they had been able to make an arrest.
Writer and activist Fleur Pierets says it seems the sticker has appeared across Antwerp: “Many people have sent me photos” she notes on Instagram.
The sticker clearly targets Antwerp’s sizeable lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex community. The police diversity unit is charged with the investigation.
Pierets asks everybody who encounters the sticker to report it to the police. Antwerp police’s Willem Magom says the police will take action:
“We have received several reports. Our diversity unit is collecting them. Charge sheets will be issued detailing this as a hate crime as well as vandalism. The sticker is being stuck on shop windows as well as on street furniture.”
Antwerp police arrested a 30-year-old male suspect on Tuesday morning. He is suspected of distributing the stickers. He was freed after questioning. The suspect’s home was also searched.