A gang of men beat a transgender woman to death in the city of Klang in Malaysia, according to local media.
The 32-year-old woman died from injuries caused by blunt weapons on Wednesday (12 December) night, the Star Online reports.
A local police chief told the Star someone found her outside a hotel on Thursday morning.
An ambulance rushed her to hospital. However, doctors pronounced her dead at 10.47 am.
A postmortem revealed she suffered 32 injuries. She died from a fractured skull and bleeding in the brain.
Police have launched a murder investigation.
Malaysian transgender activist Nisha Ayub said the woman’s family performed the last rites for her.
The woman was probably alone at the time of the attack, Nisha told Gay Star News. Her friends only found out about the incident after she was found.
She urged the police to investigate the murder seriously.
Thilaga, founding member of trans advocacy group Justice for Sisters, also urged a ‘swift response’ from police.
Attacks on the transgender community on the rise in Malaysia, Nisha said. Significantly, there have been three murders of trans people in Malaysia this year.
Thilaga also said there was a ‘worrying’ rise in cases. She said attacks were symptomatic of a lack of protection, stigma and marginalization of trans people.
Importantly, Nisha blamed mainstream media, certain religious bodies, some politicians, and government agencies.
’They portray the LGBTI community as deviants’ the activist said. ‘These statements encourage hatred and create the violence that is happening right now’.
‘Basically we live in fear, we fear four our lives’ Nisha told Gay Star News.
She urged the government to respect Malaysia’s constitution, which promises equal rights, and protect LGBTI people as human beings.
Trans victims of abuse are unlikely to report incidents to the police, Nisha said. Trans people fear police will blame them if they report crimes. They also worry that authorities won’t take any action.
‘We deserve to be protected by the system’, she said.
Thilaga urged the police to keep track of violence against trans women. She said police should initiate dialogues with transgender groups.
‘When trans women are not protected under the law it not only devalues their lives, but it reinforces impunity’, she told Gay Star News.