A gay paramedic has been burnt alive in an alleged homophobic attack in Latvia.
Normunds Kindzulis, 29, died after he was doused in flammable fuel and set ablaze in the suspected arson at his home.
The victim was tragically unable to survive his horrific injuries that left him with burns to 85% of his body
Another gay man was also burned in the blaze as he rushed to Normunds’ aid, campaigners urging the police to treat the incident as a homophobic hate crime claimed, according to the Star Online.
Normunds was rushed to hospital for burns treatment in Latvia’s capital of Riga following the alleged attack on April 23.
But the European Pride Organisers Association (EPOA) confirmed on Wednesday he had since sadly died, Pink News reports.
The EPOA wrote on Twitter: “Normunds Kindzulis, a victim of the homophobic arson attack in Latvia last week, has succumbed to his injuries. Our deepest condolences to his partner and family, and to all our community in Latvia.”
Local police initially refused to open an investigation, according to Euractiv – which added that the authorities have not ruled out the young man taking his own life.
An investigation has now been launched into the paramedic’s death.
Police officer Andrejs Grishins said on Thursday: “Bringing someone to the brink of suicide is also a crime.”
Kindzulis had reportedly faced homophobic death threats in Riga before seeking refuge in the quiet town of Tukums, where he was said to have been physically assaulted at least four times.
The second burns victim claimed the pair had reported a neighbour to the authorities for threatening and jeering at them in the five-storey building they lived in.
He told Tukums Independent News: “We reported these threats to both the police and the neighbour’s workplace, but there was no reaction.
“We had to wait for someone to be mutilated or killed.”
In response to the incident, Latvia’s president Egils Levits tweeted “there is no place for hate in Latvia”.
Critics point out the EU nation recently passed legislation which defines family as exclusively the “union of a male and female person”.
Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš said the “heinous crime” should be “thoroughly investigated,” Euro News reports.