Transgender woman shares horrific injuries after being ‘beaten with an iron bar in public’
A transgender activist in Georgia has shared photos of her injuries after reportedly being attacked by a gang with a metal bar in a park in Tbilisi.
Sharing her story on her Facebook page, 23-year-old Miranda Pagava said that she was taking a taxi at 4am when a man called out to her.
“A stranger called out to me and told me that it was very nice and that I should go over to him,” she wrote.
When she ignored his advances he allegedly shouted:
"Are you a boy or a girl?”.
After attempting to find refuge in a shop in a market nearby Pagava says she was then attacked with an iron bar, causing a gash on her left eye that has stopped her from being able to see.
Pagava says she asked shopkeepers to call the police, but they refused, alongside security guards nearby, citing that it was “a job for the police”.
“I refused to go the hospital because I knew that there homophobic doctors there, and I did not have the strength to deal with such stress,” she wrote.
“I have published this post with the help of a friend who helped me write it because I can’t see from my left eye.”
The activist has said that she intends to move to Europe as soon as possible so that she can be safe.
“People show aggression towards me because of my gender identity. Due to that I can’t find a job, despite my academic background and skills,” she said to Rustavi 2 TV.
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The police have arrested a man in conjunction with the attack.
“Transgender women are the most vulnerable group in the society; they are often humiliated on the basis of their gender identity.
“We hope that the Georgian government will launch an effective policy on responding to hate crimes, including by creating an independent, efficient and human rights-based investigation mechanism,” said a member of the Georgian NGO Equality Movement, the largest LGBTQI organisation in the country.
Georgia is the only former Soviet State to have anti-discrimination laws in place.
In spite of this, the state has also killed openly gay people in concentration camps in 2017 in a devastating purge of LGBT people.