Denmark protest to save Guatemalan trans activist

Campaigners will march in Copenhagen to stop the deportation of Fernanda Milan who fears she will be attacked, tortured and killed if sent back to Guatemala

Denmark protest to save Guatemalan trans activist
07 September 2012

Campaigners will march through the streets of Copenhagen to protest the deportation of trans woman Fernanda Milán back to Guatemala, where she fears she will be attacked and killed.

Activists will demonstrate in the Danish capital’s Kongens Nytorv square on Saturday (8 September) at noon, where there will also be political speeches and music.

Guatamala has a shocking reputation for transgender hate crimes. A 2010 report showed that 13 transwomen were murdered over one year.

Milan, who was an activist in her homeland, came to Denmark in search of a better life, but her treatment when she first arrived was far from what she hoped.

She was placed in the men’s wing of an accommodation center for asylum seekers, where she was raped by several men.

After running away from the accommodation center, Milan ended up working in a brothel out of desperation. When the brothel was raided by the police she came into contact with the anti-human trafficking organization Reden International.

Milan has lived in a women’s center ran by Reden International since February 2011, but she recently learnt of the decision in her asylum case. She is due to be deported back to Guatamala on 17 September.

‘There are no rights for transgender people in Guatemala,’ she said in a campaign video on YouTube.

‘People are thrown out of family circles, jobs and education institutions because of their gender identity and also for sexual identity.

‘It’s dangerous to be gay in Guatemala but it’s double dangerous to be transgender.’

She said she fled the country because she was attacked by the police, as well as civilians, and was afraid for her life.

‘If I come back to Guatemala, I would get killed, prosecuted, tortured. I seek asylum because I think I have the right to save my life. I have the right to have a safe space where I can develop as a human rights activist and a human being.’

Campaigners are urging supporters to contact Danish authorities and embassies about the case., as well as sign a petition calling for her deportation to be stopped.

Other protests will be held outside the Danish embassy in London on 10 September and again in Denmark on 16 September.

Watch a video of Milan appealing for help below:

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