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Two trans women tortured and killed in Pakistan

Reiss Smith July 30, 2019
A Pakistani transgender activist holding a sign saying "we are like you."

A Pakistani transgender activist. (Getty Images)

Pakistani police officers have discovered the bodies of two transgender women who they say were tortured and beaten to death.

Police found the bodies of the women—who have not been named—in a locked house in Sahiwal, eastern Punjab on Saturday (July 27), the Times of Israel reported.

Senior officer Mohammad Ali Zia said that it isn’t clear what motivated the murders, which investigators believe took place on Thursday (July 25).

Trans women in Pakistan face persecution

Transgender people in Pakistan’s conservative society are often subjected to violent abuse, with many murdered by their own families in so-called honour killings.

According to the TransAction Alliance, there were 479 reported attacks against transgender women in the Khyber-Pakhunkhwa province alone in 2018.

At least four trans women were killed there in 2018, and at least 57 have been killed since 2015.

Violence against the trans community has continued in spite of a 2018 law which guaranteed transgender people basic human rights and protections.

The violence is high on the ground.

The bill outlaws discrimination in public places, including schools, hospitals and on public transport, and obliges the government to establish safe houses for those at risk of violence.

It also gives trans people the right to self-ID as male, female or non-binary on passports and official documents, and enables them to vote in elections.

Pakistan trans bill hasn’t been implemented

However in June, the president of Trans Action, Farzana Jan, said that “the progress and implementation [of the bill] is almost nil.”

“The violence is high on the ground but the prosecution and conviction rate is zero, she told Metro.

“Yes, there is some kind of change at the grassroots level but the challenge of the transgender community all across Pakistan, and especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, remains the same.”

Jan spoke at a press conference in support of a trans woman who was reportedly kidnapped and tortured by criminals who shaved her head after she refused to give them money.

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