Portuguese arrested and tortured in Turkey for appearing gay

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Miguel Pereira was on vacation and police thought he was going to participate in an illegal march. He shared cells with homophobic criminals.

Miguel Álvaro Pereira, 34, a Portuguese (and South African) living in Brazil, was arrested and tortured in Turkey for appearing to be gay. The story was told by himself on social media: on June 25, a gay parade was held in Istanbul, considered illegal by the Turkish authorities.

Miguel, who was on vacation, is gay, but says he did not know about the demonstration. He asked a policeman on the street for information about a tourist district, Balat, where he was meeting a friend.

The police thought Miguel looked gay and was probably going to join the gay parade. He was arrested and taken to a van, where he was reportedly beaten.

Over the next few days, he was taken to various jails, without humane conditions, and forced to share spaces with homophobic criminals, who threatened him with death and rape.

He was released on 13 July, after 19 days, thanks to the help of a gay rights organization, which paid for his travel to Portugal, from where he went to Brazil.

Turkey has been a candidate country for EU membership since 2005. u Miguel Álvaro Pereira, 34, a Portuguese (and South African) living in Brazil, was arrested and tortured in Turkey for appearing gay.

The story was told by him on social media: on June 25, a gay parade was held in Istanbul, considered illegal by the Turkish authorities.

Miguel, who was on vacation, is gay, but says he did not know about the demonstration. He asked a policeman on the street for information about a tourist neighborhood, Balat, where he was going to meet a friend.

The police considered that Miguel looked gay and was probably going to join the gay parade. He was arrested and taken to a van, where he was reportedly beaten.

Over the next few days, he was taken to various jails, without humane conditions, and forced to share spaces with homophobic criminals, who threatened him with death and rape.

He was released on 13 July, after 19 days, thanks to the help of a gay rights organization, which paid for his travel to Portugal, from where he went to Brazil.

Turkey has been a candidate country for EU membership since 2005.

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