BEIJING: Two women were allegedly assaulted by security guards at an art centre here for wearing the rainbow insignia on their clothes, triggering a social media storm in the country where the LGBT group still suffers constant discrimination, a leading Chinese daily reported on Monday.
The state-run Global Times reported the story after a video was uploaded online in which the women appeared to be beaten up and pushed to the floor by men wearing security uniforms.
The security personnel of Beijing's 798 Art Zone allegedly refused to allow entry to the two women because they were wearing rainbow badges given to them by a man near the venue entrance.
According to the daily, the man said that he was distributing rainbow flags on the occasion of the upcoming International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia on May 17.
"I planned to give out 5,000 rainbow badges but was stopped by the security staff. Trying to stop me from handing out badges and stopping others who wore them from entering the zone is absurd," he said.
He visited the two women in the hospital and said that one of them had stitches in her mouth while the other had bruises on the face.
An employee of the property management department of Beijing Administrative Committee of 798 Art Zone said that the security guards had the right to stop illegal activity.
Although there are no specific figures, it is estimated that some 70 million people belong to the LGBT group in China.
According to a survey conducted in 2016 by the UN Development Programme, out of 30,000 Chinese LGBT people, half of them feel discriminated against for their sexual orientation.