Sunday 19 November 2017

Madrid metro staff warned to keep an eye on 'homosexuals'

Adam Withnall

An investigation is underway in Madrid after metro ticket inspectors were told to keep an eye out for suspect groups including “gays, musicians and beggars”.

Authorities in the Spanish city have said that the recommendation for staff to carry out extra checks on “homosexuals” did not represent official policy, and that an internal probe is under way to establish who sent it out.

The leaflet sparked outrage in Madrid after it was leaked by employees to a number of media outlets on Wednesday, and was described as “extraordinary” by LGBT rights groups.

In a statement on the official Madrid metro Twitter feed, transport officials said they “condemn the memo, which is not official, and are investigating to establish [who was] responsible”.

Ignacio González Velayos, the metro’s managing director, responded to outraged members of the public by saying action would be taken once the investigation into the “unfortunate” memo was complete.

“Our board of directors were immediately informed and have opened an investigation to determine who printed and handed out these deplorable leaflets so that they can be brought to justice,” he said.

The Spanish LGBT group COLEGA-Madrid said it had raised the memo with the public prosecutor and that it represented “clear discrimination and harassment due to sexual orientation”.

“To discriminate arbitrarily against any group of people, be it musicians, beggars or indeed gays, is completely illegal and the person who wrote this should lose their job and face charges,” they said.

Independent News Service

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