Bangladesh activists protest reported kidnap of 2 trans women by hijras

A group of about 10 hijras (traditional third-gender individuals) reportedly abducted and tortured two trans women last month in western Bangladesh.

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The Bangladeshi human rights organization JusticeMakers Bangladesh protested, expressing deep concern over the crime and demanding a prompt investigation and trial.

The attack, which occurred in Meherpur near the Indian border, was reported on Dec. 26 in the online edition of Daily Manabzamin newspaper. That account described the incident as follows:

On Dec. 18, trans women Sandhya and Rubina were abducted and tortured because of previously existing enmity with the hijra community.

The police rescued them unconscious and took them to a local hospital. A written complaint was filed at the Meherpur Sadar police station.

Location of Meherpur in Bangladesh (Map courtesy of Wikipedia)

The article gave the names of six of the alleged assailants — hijras Rekha, Sohagi, Shimran, Subarna, Lata and Shipan.  According to the newspaper report, they attacked the two trans women and their friend, a third trans woman, Surbhi, and then kidnapped Sandhya and Rubina but not Surbhi.

LGBT rights activist Shahanur Islam, founder of JusticeMakers Bangladesh, appealed to the state to provide proper treatment and compensation to the victimized transgender women.

The kidnapping and torture, he said, are just a small part of the discrimination, deprivation, murder, kidnapping, injuries and various basic human rights violations committed against transgender women and homosexual minorities across the country. Those crimes and human rights violations remain invisible to the public, he said.

He also urged the repeal of Section 377 of the Penal Code, which criminalizes same-sex intimacy, and the enactment of a Homosexual Protection Act that recognizes the constitutional rights of LGBT people.

About 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

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