Latest trans murder in Bangladesh is part of a worldwide problem

A member of the Bangladesh hijra / transgender community was stabbed to death in Dhaka, Bangladesh, early on Sept. 30.


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Paribagh footbridge in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Photo courtesy of Dhaka Daily)
Paribagh footbridge in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Photo courtesy of Dhaka Daily)

This is what happened, as described by the online news site New Age and the human rights organizations Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) and JusticeMakers Bangladesh:

Nila, age 24, was stabbed by two youths on the footbridge at the Paribagh district at around 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 30, police said.

She was rushed to Dhaka Medical College Hospital where doctors declared her dead. She had been stabbed at the throat, police said.

Nur Mohammad, officer-in-charge of Shahbagh police station, said police are investigating but have made no arrests.

LGBT rights campaigner and lawyer Shahanur Islam, the secretary general of both BIHR and JusticeMakers Bangladesh, urged police to find Nila’s killer immediately.

He said he believes that the murder was not an isolated incident, but is part of a pattern of human rights abuses and discrimination against LGBT people including transgender people, that is  widespread all around the country — everywhere, “from home to society and society to state”.

Shahanur Islam added that, although the government of Bangladesh has recognized transgender as a third gender and has taken some small steps toward social rehabilitation for them, those measures are insufficient.

He also demanded, as he has frequently done, that Bangladesh should repeal the discriminatory anti-LGBT Section 377 of the Bangladesh Penal Code.

Murders of trans people are a worldwide problem.

Transgender people are over four times more likely than cisgender people to experience violent victimization, including rape, sexual assault, and aggravated or simple assault, according to a 2021 study by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.

A total of 375 transgender people — a record number — were killed worldwide last year, according to Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide, which releases the tally each year on International Trans Day of Remembrance, held annually on Nov. 20.

 

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, and editor / publisher of Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at info@76crimes.com.

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