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Trans woman savagely beaten by Georgian police just hours after her friend set herself on fire protesting anti-trans brutality

Nick Duffy May 5, 2020
Sesili Tsomaia, of Tbilisi, Georgia, has alleged that she was savagely beaten by police

Sesili Tsomaia, of Tbilisi, Georgia, has alleged that she was savagely beaten by police

A trans woman in Tbilisi, Georgia, has alleged that she was savagely beaten by police – just hours after one of her friends set herself on fire to protest the country’s treatment of transgender people.

According to Open Caucus Media, Georgia’s State Inspector Service has launched an investigation after officers were accused of exceeding “official powers using violence” during the arrest of
Sesili Tsomaia on the evening of April 30.

Trans woman ‘kicked and punched’ during altercation with Georgia police.

Tsomaia told local media that she was arrested for breaching a curfew in the city while out with friends looking for a pharmacy because she felt unwell.

She claimed that the officers  punched, dragged, and kicked her during the incident.

The woman  said: “They dragged me two or three metres. After that, while I had my hands tied, the one in charge came and kicked my back.”

She also alleges that police seized the phones of some of her friends and deleted the footage they had recorded of the altercation.

Tsomaia is facing charges of disobeying police and petty hooliganism.

Beating came the same day that a trans woman set herself on fire.

The alleged beating came just hours after another transgender woman, a friend of Tsomaia’s, set herself on fire in front of Tbilisi City Hall.

Madona Kiparoidze self-immolated at a protest against the country’s treatment of transgender people – before being chased down by police who removed her flaming clothes and then arrested her.

After being detained, she shouted: “I am a transgender woman, and I’m setting myself on fire because the Georgian state doesn’t care about me.”

Georgia Tbilisi
The woman was arrested after setting herself on fire. (Tamaz Sozashvili/ Twitter)

She was later taken to hospital by ambulance, but has reportedly communicated with others since then and said she does not have life-threatening injuries.

Georgia only allows trans people to change their legal gender by going through expensive, and for some people unnecessary, surgery. Many trans people are unable to find work because of widespread discrimination.

Last summer, Tbilisi Pride had to be called off due to threats of far-right violence.

More: Bertrand Delanoe, Coronavirus lockdown, Crime, Georgia, police, police violence, Trans, World

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