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Crime

Horrifying video shows transgender woman attacked in broad daylight as bystanders do nothing

Josh Jackman July 27, 2018

Lebanon has no laws against transphobia (TransValid/youtube)

A transgender woman has been brutally attacked in the middle of the street – and no-one helped.

The victim was targeted in Jounieh, a coastal city in Lebanon.

Progress towards LGBT equality in the Middle Eastern country has been slow. The Mount Lebanon appeals court ruled earlier this month that gay sex was not a crime – the fifth such decision to be handed down – but this has not yet been turned into legislation.

A protestor waves the gay pride flag as others hold banners during an anti-homophobia rally in Beirut on April 30, 2013. Lebanese homosexuals, human rights activists and members from the NGO Helem (the Arabic acronym of "Lebanese Protection for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders") rallied to condemn the arrest on the weekend of three gay men and one transgender civilian in the town of Dekwaneh east of Beirut at a nightclub who were allegedly verbally and sexually harassed at the municipality headquarters. AFP PHOTO/JOSEPH EID (Photo credit should read JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)
Gay people still face up to a year in prison in Lebanon (JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty)

And in May, Beirut Pride events were suspended after its founder was detained by police.

This latest example of the struggle which LGBT people face in Lebanon reportedly started when a man paid the two trans women $200 for sex.

After he found out they were trans, he became violent.

A trans woman managed to escape the attacker (TransValid/youtube)

Thankfully, one of the women managed to escape, fleeing down the street in terror.

The other woman was not able to break free.

She repeatedly screamed as the man punched her and forced her down to the ground, sitting on her as he called for the police and for her to give his $200 back.

At least five men stood around and watched the scene, not lifting a finger to help the victim or stop the attacker from abusing her.

Onlookers do nothing as the man continues his attack (TransValid/youtube)

The police eventually responded to the man’s shouts – but instead of reprimanding him for the brutal attack, they reportedly arrested the woman for solicitation.

Trans people have been able to change their legal gender since 2016, but there are no laws against any anti-LGBT discrimination, including transphobia.

Ameen Rhayem, who is part of Lebanese LGBT organisation Helem, told France 24 that “according to shopkeepers with whom we spoke, the two young women ran out of a hotel.

“The man went there with them to engage in prostitution, but then he apparently realised that they were transgender and started getting violent.

A gay pride flag bearing the cedar tree in the middle of it is carried by human rights activists during an anti-homophobia rally in Beirut on April 30, 2013. Lebanese homosexuals, human rights activists and members from the NGO Helem (the Arabic acronym of "Lebanese Protection for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders") rallied to condemn the arrest on the weekend of three gay men and one transgender civilian in the town of Dekwaneh east of Beirut at a nightclub who were allegedly verbally and sexually harassed at the municipality headquarters. AFP PHOTO/JOSEPH EID / AFP PHOTO / Joseph EID (Photo credit should read JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)
Judges ruled earlier this month that “legislators had not intended to criminalise homosexuality but rather offence to public morals” (JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty)

“They had already been paid $200 and they tried to escape: one of them succeeded, but not the other one. A few hours later, the two victims were arrested,” Rhayem continued.

“This is the version of events we were told by multiple witnesses.

“What’s certain is that these acts of violence against transgender women have become common in Lebanon.

“If a fight breaks out, or if someone attacks a transgender person, the transgender person is always the one that ends up behind bars.”

Activists from of the Lebanese LGBT community take part in a protest outside the Hbeish police station in Beirut on May 15, 2016, demanding the release of four transsexual women and calling for the abolishment of article 534 of the Lebanese Penal code, which prohibits having sexual relations that "contradict the laws of nature". / AFP / ANWAR AMRO (Photo credit should read ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images)
Activists from of the Lebanese LGBT community take part in a protest outside the Hbeish police station (ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty)

Sasha, a model, said that the hardest part of being trans in Lebanon was “the lack of support from society at large.

“Police officers are supposed to protect us, but in the end they’re doing the opposite. In Lebanon, this remains a taboo subject.

“Transgender people are allowed to change sexes, but not everyone accepts their transitioning.”

Watch the horrific video here—Warning: Some users may find these scenes distressing: 

More: attack, Crime, Lebanon, Lebanon, Middle East, Middle East, police, Trans, Transgender

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