Dutch men hold hands to protest against homophobia

Politicians from Democrats 66 party, Alexander Pechtold (l) and Wouter Koolmees (r), held hands to show support for the movement Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Politicians from Democrats 66 party, Alexander Pechtold (L) and Wouter Koolmees (R), arrived a meeting in Le Hague holding hands to show support for the movement

Dutch men are uploading pictures of themselves holding hands on to social media to stand against homophobia.

The trend was sparked by an alleged attack on two gay men on a street in the Netherlands on Sunday.

The images are being shared via the hashtags #handinhand and #allemannenhandinhand (all men hand in hand).

Politicians, celebrities, football pundits and workers have joined in, throughout the Netherlands and beyond.

Image copyright Mikael Bertelsen
Image caption Danish radio and television host Mikael Bertelsen is one of the latest to take part on Instagram

Jasper Vernes-Sewratan, 35, and Ronnie Sewratan-Vernes, 31, say they were attacked by a group of men in the early hours of Sunday morning in Arnhem, in the country's east.

Their story was widely publicised and they appeared on Dutch talk show Pauw earlier this week, where they described being set upon after holding hands.

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The lawyer of one of the alleged attackers also appeared on the show, later in the week, claiming the pair threw the first punch.

The couple have emphatically denied this.

Image copyright Andreas Schieder
Image caption Austrian politician Andreas Schieder also published a picture on Wednesday, saying homophobia has no place in Austria or the Netherlands

Gay couples in Amsterdam and Eindhoven also reported being assaulted because of their sexuality over the weekend, according to Dutch media.

In some parts of the world, including India and some African countries, men commonly hold hands, taking it as a sign of friendship and respect.

The Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage in 2001.

Image copyright Vicky Baker
Image caption The Dutch delegation at the UN in New York also took part
Image copyright Cancer Center UMCU
Image caption Two medical staff hold hands at an Utrecht hospital: "Because love (and care) is for everyone"

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