MOSCOW: A senior Dutch diplomat at the Netherlands embassy in Moscow was beaten up at his home in the Russian capital by unknown attackers who scrawled the letters “LGBT” on a mirror, officials said on Wednesday.
The incident comes amid growing tensions between Russia and the Netherlands over the arrest by the Russian authorities of the 30 crew of a Dutch-flagged Greenpeace ship campaigning against oil drilling in the Arctic.
The deputy head of the Netherlands mission in Moscow, Onno Elderenbosch, was approached at his home by men who presented themselves as electricians and then beat him up, Russian news reports and officials said.
The intruders who broke into his flat took nothing but scrawled in pink lipstick the letters LGBT (stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) and a drawing of a heart, the Interfax news agency and lifenews.ru website quoted a security source as saying.
The diplomat, 60, was not badly harmed and did not seek medical attention, the reports added.
The Russian Investigative Committee, which handles criminal probes into major crimes, confirmed that a Dutch citizen had been attacked on Tuesday evening.
It said in a statement that the intruders bound the diplomat with tape and later fled the scene. A criminal inquiry has been opened into an illegal break-in.
Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans confirmed the attack on his Facebook page, saying that Elderenbosch was assaulted by two intruders. He said he had called the diplomat, who was now doing fine.