ROME (AFP) - Italian police were questioning five Chinese minors on Tuesday (Nov 28) on suspicion of murder after a man was apparently suffocated by his teenage ex-boyfriend in a revenge attack.
The victim Hu Congliang, 20, is believed to have been dating one of the five in Modena, a city in northern Italy near Prato, where there is a very large Chinese community.
When the 17-year-old boyfriend tried to break up with him, Hu allegedly threatened to make public intimate photographs of the minor he had saved on his telephone.
Deputy police chief Marcello Castello told reporters: "From what we understand so far, the punitive mission was prompted by the photographs,"
"All five say they don't speak Italian, which we don't believe. They are all underage and have been utterly impassive. Just like their parents, who have been completely uncooperative," he said.
The 17-year-old is believed to have summoned his friends to Hu's house on Sunday. There they ran into his mother and her partner and went to the youth's bedroom to chat.
They are believed to have smothered Hu with a pillow before stuffing his body into a suitcase found under the bed. They then said goodbye to his mother, saying her son had left the house earlier.
She made the grisly discovery hours later after her son failed to return and she noticed the suitcase was out of place.
One of the five turned himself in to police voluntarily. The other four were arrested, one while playing video games.
Gabriele Piazzoni, national secretary of Arcigay, one of Italy's leading gay associations, said in a statement: "We have learned with pain and rage of the murder of young Leo and the terrible circumstances of his death."
Coupling the Chinese murder with the recent suicide of an Italian youngster who feared sexual images of her would be made public, Piazzoni slammed "a culture that tarnishes sexuality and sexual orientation".
"The issues of sexuality, sexual orientation and sexual practices are still taboo in our country... and yet it is this very stigma that hands violent people their lethal weapon," he said.