A shocking video showing the harassment and sexual assault of a group of trans women has shown how police at the scene stood by and did nothing to protect them in Iran.
In the short video, one of the trans women is screaming hysterically as a mob of men surround them on a public street.
It appears as though she is having difficulty standing and is being held up by another woman.
That same woman then goes over to a nearby police car and confronts the officer sitting in the driver’s seat.
‘Why aren’t you helping her?’ she asks angrily.
‘Is it because she’s transgender? You shouldn’t drive away. You should help them.’
Witnesses at the scene the police officer allegedly blamed the trans women for the assault.
‘But look at what they look like,’ the police officer reportedly said about the trans women.
US based, Iranian activist Masih Alinejad posted the disturbing photo on her Twitter account.
Alinejad has been encouraging women to film harassment they experience on the streets of Iran using the hashtag, #MyCameraIsMyWeapon.
Trans rights in Iran
Iran is the only Muslim country in the Persian Gulf that recognizes trans people. Official statistics record the number of trans people at about 15,000 to 20,000. But unofficial number estimates the number to be at about 150,000.
The country subsidizes gender affirming surgery and lets people have their true gender identity recognized officially.
Between 2006 and 2010 Iran gave out 1,366 permits to people hoping to undergo surgery.
Even though being trans is not illegal, it is rarely discussed in Iran and trans people find it hard to access the right medical help.
Homosexuality is a crime in Iran where men face the death penalty for same-sex relations and women face lashings for the same crime.