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Russia: Dutch diplomat beaten in Moscow apartment

Attackers drew a heart and the letters LGBT on a mirror with lipstick

A Dutch diplomat was attacked in his Moscow apartment by two men who are yet to be identified. Credit:

The deputy chief of the Dutch embassy in Moscow was reportedly attacked in his apartment by men who claimed they were checking on an electrical problem in the building, The Moscow Times reports.

According to the report, the official, who is identified as Onno Elderenbosch, came across two men working on a fuse box as he was about to enter his fourth-floor apartment. The men allegedly beat him, turned the place upside down and drew a heart accompanied by the letters LGBT on a mirror with lipstick.

Elderenbosch was slightly injured in the incident, and his attackers have yet to be identified, the report says.

In the aftermath of the attack, the Dutch foreign ministry called on Russia's ambassador for an explanation.

"Our people have to be able to work safely and I want guarantees that the Russian authorities will accept their responsibilities on that point," Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans wrote in an Oct 15 Facebook post.

Pink News reports that Russia's foreign ministry has conveyed its regret about the incident and police are working to find the assailants.

The attack on Elderenbosch follows a series of incidents that have heightened tensions between Russia and the Netherlands, including the capture of a Greenpeace ship bearing a Dutch flag and the arrest of its crew of 30 on piracy charges, and the arrest of a Russian diplomat in The Hague.

In July, four Dutch nationals were also detained in connection with a documentary about gay rights in Russia.