23/02/2010 | Writer: KAOS GL

February 22, 2010

Human rights advocates say recent violent deaths of two transgender Turkish women show a pattern of brutality and are calling for stronger protection measures.

At least eight transgender people have been killed in Istanbul and Ankara since November 2008. The most recent victim had her throat slit and was stabbed 17 times in her apartment Feb. 16.

Authorities say they suspect the same assailants also stabbed her roommate who survived the attack, Human Rights Watch reported Monday.

The organization -- along with the European Region of the International Lesbian Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission -- wrote to Turkish authorities calling for programs to combat prejudice and hate.

The letter urged repeal of laws allowing police to harass stigmatized groups, HRW said.

"Protecting people and preventing violence means more than investigating after the fact," Juliana Cano Nieto of Human Rights Watch said. "Without meaningful government action to affirm their rights and ensure their safety, transgender people in Turkey will continue to live in fear."

The European Union, to which Turkey is seeking admission, has reminded the country of its need to safeguard all minorities including lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender persons.

Original Link of this News Article: Violence against transgenders condemned
Tags: human rights