Five brothers were arrested for the murder of a trans woman in Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur in February.
Shameera Krishnan was found dead with four of her fingers sliced off and shot in the bottom on February 23. She was killed the day before her 27th birthday.
The Star Online reported five brothers aged between 19 and 30 were arrested by police on Thursday and given a seven-day remand by the Kuantan Magistrate’s Court.
It was not the first time the florist faced extreme violence. In 2015 Krishnan was kidnapped and tortured by two men.
She was rescued when another motorist saw her tied-up in the back seat of her kidnappers car.
The two men were arrested and charged under the Kidnapping Act, which carries the mandatory death sentence.
Malaysia’s tough stance on trans issues
Trans rights are not recognized in Malaysia where state-level Sharia laws prohibit ‘cross-dressing’.
Trans people also face ‘face arbitrary arrest, physical and sexual assault, imprisonment, discriminatory denial of health care and employment, and other abuses’, according to Human Rights Watch.
A coalition of organizations in Malaysia called for a fair and thorough of investigation of Krishnan’s murder. The group also called on the country’s media to report trans issues with more responsibility and respect.
‘The violence experienced by transgender persons does not happen in vacuum, and it is symptomatic of the marginalization and lack of inclusion of trans people in society,’ the coalition said.
‘It is important that we dismantle all forms of stigma and discrimination faced by transgender persons that continues to place trans people in vulnerable situations.
‘All persons, regardless of gender identity should be protected from violence.
‘We urge the authorities and the media, especially journalists and editors to treat trans people with respect and dignity, and bring the perpetrators of Sameera’s brutal murder to justice.’