Tag Archives: violence against women

Mexico: assault and arson after lesbian bar owner refused sex with man

La Canita

That night, one of them told one of the owners that “if I did not have sex with him, I was going to destroy the place,” says the published testimony. She tried to evade him, but the client continued to harass her until she decided to respond that she was a lesbian. “I’m never going to sleep with you and I will not give you more drink,” he replied, according to the story. The men – she does not specify how many – then demanded more beer from the workers and when they were denied, they took them by force, assaulted them, broke bottles and beat other customers.

“We know it was hatred and not an economic motivation that prompted these people to attack us in the way they did. The complaint is filed in the MP and some human rights processes are also ongoing, “the publication said.
(Translated)

Esa noche, uno de ellos le dijo a una de las dueñas que “si no tenía sexo con él, iba a desmadrar el lugar”, dice el testimonio publicado. Ella trató de evadirlo, pero el cliente continuó acosándola hasta que ella decidió responder que era lesbiana. “Nunca me voy a acostar contigo y no te voy a dar más trago”, le respondió, según se lee en el relato. Los hombres —no precisa cuántos— exigieron entonces más cerveza a las trabajadoras y cuando se los negaron, las tomaron por la fuerza, las agredieron, rompieron botellas y golpearon a otros clientes.

“Sabemos que fue el odio y no una motivación económica lo que impulsó a estas personas a agredirnos en la manera que lo hicieron. La denuncia está levantada en el MP y algunos procesos de derechos humanos también están en curso”, indica la publicación.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.mexico.com/nuestras-causas/duenas-de-bar-lgbt-la-canita-denuncian-ataque-homofobico/ (Source)

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Costa Rica: lesbian forced to wear dress then brutally murdered

Stephannye Paola Castro Mora

(November 2018)

Those who knew Steph [Stephannye Paola Castro Mora] said that she had a style of dress, and that she never wore dresses or skirts. Hence, the psychologist who has evaluated this case on account of the hatred with which her murderers tried to humiliate her before killing her, putting a dress on her. “In this particular case not only hate, intolerance and excessive anger toward the sexual orientation of the victim are denoted, but also the imposition of their own code and how he (or the murderers) think must express the sexuality of a woman (with a dress)” commented Ana Yancy Benavides. …
We are filled with rage at the murder of this young woman who worked as a security guard, a girl who was the target of deranged just because of her sexual orientation, because she did not fulfil the heterosexual and feminine “codes” that the lesbophobes wanted to see in them.
(Translated)

Los que conocían a Steph decían que tenía un estilo muy propio de vestir, y que jamás usaba vestidos ni faldas. De ahí que la psicóloga que ha evaluado este caso de cuenta del odio con el que sus asesinos intentaron humillarla antes de matarla, poniéndole un vestido. “En este caso particular no solo se denotan odio, intolerancia y enojo desmedido hacia la orientación sexual de la víctima, sino también la imposición de su propio código y como él (o los asesinos) piensan debe expresarse la sexualidad de una mujer (con un vestido)”, comentó Ana Yancy Benavides. …
Nos llena de rabia el asesinato de esta joven mujer que trabajaba como guardia de seguridad, una chica que fue el blanco de desquiciados sólo por su orientación sexual, por no cumplir los “códigos” heterosexuales y femeninos que los lesbófobos querían ver en ellas.
(Original)

Continue reading at: http://www.mirales.es/asesinan-a-una-chica-lesbiana-e-intentan-humillarla-poniendole-un-vestido/ (Source)

Spain: two men jailed for assaulting lesbian couple for kissing

Spain

The Provincial Court of Barcelona has ratified six month prison sentence that a criminal court in Barcelona imposed on two men who insulted and assaulted two lesbian women because they kissed in public in a cafeteria. The sentence, which has been made public this Saturday by the SER Chain and which is appealable to the Supreme Court, considers it “evident” that it was “a hate crime due to gender prejudice.” The events occurred in October 2016 in a cafeteria located at the confluence of Vía Laietana with Plaza Urquinaona in Barcelona when the two men recriminated the two women because they were kissing, they showed them their testicles and one of them also punched a one of the two victims, which for the judges constitutes a hate crime and another one of injuries.
(Translated)

La Audiencia de Barcelona ha ratificado los seis meses de cárcel que un juzgado de lo penal de Barcelona impuso a dos hombres que insultaron y agredieron a dos mujeres lesbianas porque éstas se besaban en público en una cafetería. La sentencia, que ha hecho pública este sábado la Cadena SER y que es recurrible al Tribunal Supremo, considera “evidente” que se trató de “un delito de odio por prejuicios de género”. Los hechos ocurrieron en octubre 2016 en una cafetería situada en la confluencia de la Vía Laietana con la Plaza Urquinaona de Barcelona cuando los dos hombres recriminaron a las dos mujeres porque se estaban besando, les enseñaron los testículos y uno de ellos también pegó un puñetazo a una de las dos víctimas, lo que para los jueces constituye un delito de odio y otro más de lesiones.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.diaridetarragona.com/catalunya/Carcel-para-dos-hombres-que-agredieron-a-dos-lesbianas-por-besarse-20190430-0074.html (Source)

U.K: Brothers murdered lesbian after homophobic abuse report

glenda

Two brothers have been found guilty of stabbing a woman to death after she reported a homophobic attack by a group they were linked to.
Glenda Jackson was found in a blood-soaked hallway at flats in Grayson Mews, Birkenhead, on 30 September 2018.
Prosecutor Gordon Cole QC said she had called police at 01:44 and told the 999 operator she had been subjected to homophobic abuse and suffered facial injuries.
She told attending officers she had been attacked by the people in a flat where the Curtis brothers had been sleeping and was recorded on a body-cam stating that her attackers had told her if she “dared do anything she would be killed”.

Continue reading: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-merseyside-48092027 (source)

Guatemala: two lesbians murdered for being lesbian

Guatemala

Source: Ontheworldmap.com

On Wednesday, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Guatemala condemned the murder of two women in the municipality of Jalapa, 99 kilometers east of the capital, on which there was a “lesbophobic” message.
(Translated)

La Oficina de la Alta Comisionada de la ONU para los Derechos Humanos en Guatemala condenó este miércoles el asesinato de dos mujeres en el municipio de Jalapa, a 99 kilómetros al este de la capital, sobre las que había un mensaje “lesbofóbico”.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.elespanol.com/mundo/20190424/asesinan-mujeres-guatemala-lesbianas/393460855_0.html (Source)

(LVD) Living as a Lesbian in Iran, Where Being Gay Is Illegal


In Iran, being gay can carry a death sentence for men. Though lesbians are discussed less frequently, they too face severe government-sanctioned punishment, including lashes and flogging.
The three days Azadeh* spent in interrogation felt to her like months.
In a remote villa on the outskirts of Iran, she sat listening to clergymen preaching quotes from the Quran as the burns on her arms stung with infection.
Growing up, the 25-year-old says she was often bullied for her “boyish” looks. But several years ago, the harassment took on a more sinister form when she was arrested and tortured by Iranian Revolutionary Guards. The guards had found a short story by Azadeh about two male soldiers who were lovers during the war, after a tip-off from a girl Azadeh says held a personal grudge against her.
“I never directly used the word ‘homosexuality’ in my writings,” Azadeh says, “but they wanted to use those writings to get a confession from me that I’m a lesbian. I denied everything.”
Regardless, she was forced to undergo a three-day long “reorientation course”, which she quickly learnt was a euphemism for interrogation. It consisted, she says, of religious instruction and repeated attempts to force her to admit she was gay.
“They tortured me by pouring boiling water on my skin and beating me, especially on the head. [But] more than physical torture, I was subjected to verbal abuse,” she says. “They kept telling me that I was a ‘pussy licker’.”

Azadeh doesn’t see any contradiction between her religious beliefs and her sexual orientation. Her own (legally unofficial) marriage to a woman followed Muslim marriage rituals, and she considers her partner to be her wife in accordance with religious rules. “I used to struggle a lot to interpret the Quran in a way that was more compatible with my situation as a lesbian,” she says. “I think we need new fatwa for this issue.”

Continue reading: https://broadly.vice.com/
en_us/article/a3wvjk/living-as-a-lesbian-in-iran-where-being-gay-is-illegal
(source)

(LVD) South Africa: Lesbians Fight for Acceptance in the Rainbow Nation

sa.jpeg

Being a lesbian in South Africa can be a death sentence.
Nondi, Vee and over one hundred others came to the Isini Sam conference to meet and strategize on how to fight the hate and end the violence. They discussed how to better represent themselves and advocate as a cohesive group, how to combat stigmas and misconceptions, as well as how to better work with the police and community members.
“In South Africa we are free. But in our communities that we are living in, here in Khayelitsha, we are not free,” Jara said.
“We are trying to bring the community to also understand and to accept that we are humans and we are here and also that we are someone’s daughter or mother or sister,” Vokwana said.
They stress the similarities between all people. Many are quick to assert that while they are activists, their sexuality does not define them. They want to be seen as equals, as humans and accepted by their families, community, in the eyes of the law and by members of the police.
Those at the conference have chosen to speak out, but this choice comes with a price.
But activists still meet, organize and fight.
At the conference attendees broke into small groups to discuss plans for lobbying, greater visibility, training for police and ways to talk with their community members, family members and friends. They sang and danced and celebrated knowing they were among friends, among comrades, and for a while, they were safe.
They brought different viewpoints, had their own hopes for the movement and opinions on how to get there, but they shared a common goal.
Written on a white easel, a unanimously agreed upon goal from one of the groups said, “Look at me beyond my sexuality. Look at me as a human being.”

Continue reading: https://pulitzercenter.org/
reporting/south-africa-fight-acceptance-rainbow-nation
(source)

Brazil: state murder of lesbian remains unpunished 3 years later

Luana Barbosa

After three years of Luana Barbosa’s murder, the case is still in the judicial process without effectively holding the aggressors accountable. Black, lesbian, mother and outlier, Luana was killed at age 34 due to brain injuries caused by three military police officers who beat her in the corner of her house, in the Jardim Paiva II neighbourhood, in the northern area of ​​Ribeirão Preto (São Paulo state). The assaults took place after Luana refused to be checked by the soldiers of the 51st Military Police Battalion (PM), demanding a female police presence. She was sent to the Emergency Unit of the Hospital de Clínicas (HC-EU), but died five days after the violence.
(Translated)

Luego de tres años del asesinato de Luana Barbosa, el caso aún sigue en proceso judicial sin responsabilizar efectivamente a los agresores. Negra, lesbiana, madre y periférica, Luana fue asesinada a los 34 años por lesiones cerebrales provocadas por tres policías militares que la golpearon en la esquina de su casa, en el barrio Jardim Paiva II, zona Norte de Ribeirão Preto (estado de São Paulo). Las agresiones ocurrieron después de que Luana se rehusó a ser revisada por los soldados del 51º Batallón de la Policía Militar (PM), exigiendo una presencia policial femenina. Ella fue encaminada la Unidad de Emergencia del Hospital de Clínicas (HC-UE), pero murió cinco días después de la violencia.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://kaosenlared.net/brasil-madre-negra-y-lesbiana-asesinato-de-luana-barbosa-sigue-impune-luego-de-tres-anos/ (Source)

Ireland: Lyra McKee, talented young, lesbian journalist killed at riot

lyra.jpg

Lyra McKee was killed on Thursday (local time) by a gunman shooting in the direction of police officers, shortly after she tweeted a photo of a police vehicle being pelted by petrol bombs, with the caption: “Derry tonight. Absolute madness.”

A year after moving to Londonderry, the celebrated young journalist had written about how she looked forward to “better times ahead and saying goodbye to bombs and bullets once and for all”.

But just three months later she was killed during a riot that underscored the challenges still faced by Northern Ireland, 21 years after the Good Friday Agreement largely ended decades of deadly sectarian bloodshed.

Continue reading: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-20/lyra-mckee-remembered-at-vigil-in-northern-ireland/11032882 (source)

 

Update: Brothers arrested for lesbophobic hate crime against Carolina Torres

Carolina Torres Urbina

The Investigative Police (PDI) confirmed that the Sex Crime Investigation Brigade detained two individuals who are the alleged perpetrators of the lesbophobic attack against Carolina Torres, which took place during the early hours of the 14th February in the commune of Pudahuel, and who have been fugitives since then.

These are the brothers Miguel Angel and Reynaldo Cortez Arancibia, aged 24 and 30 respectively – Colo-Colo fans who were arrested in the same commune of the attack, and who had already assaulted the Torres four months before when they pushed her from a micro and left her with her knees destroyed.

The chief prosecutor of Pudahuel, Eduardo Baeza confirmed that on Friday morning both will be charged with attempted murder, aggravated by being an alleged hate crime.
(Translated)

 

Durante la tarde de este jueves, la Policía de Investigaciones (PDI) confirmó que la Brigada Investigadora de Delitos Sexuales detuvo a dos individuos que son los presuntos autores del ataque lesbofóbico en contra de Carolina Torres, que se llevó a cabo durante la madrugada del 14 de febrero en la comuna de Pudahuel, y quienes se encontraban prófugos desde entonces.

Se trata de los hermanos Miguel Ángel y Reynaldo Cortez Arancibia, de 24 y 30 años respectivamente, hinchas de Colo-Colo, quienes fueron detenidos en la misma comuna del ataque, y quienes ya habían agredido a la joven cuatro meses antes, cuando la empujaron desde una micro y la dejaron con las rodillas destrozadas.

Por otra parte, el fiscal Jefe de Pudahuel, Eduardo Baeza, confirmó que ambos serán formalizados durante la mañana de este viernes por el delito de homicidio frustrado, con la agravante de la motivación por odio.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.cnnchile.com/pais/pdi-presuntos-autores-ataque-lesbofobico-carolina-torres_20190411/ (Source)

Original article: Chile: brutal lesbophobic attack

 

Australia: Lesbian women forced to pay fees to Royal Brunei Airlines after cancellation

Lesbian women forced to pay fees to Royal Brunei Airlines after cancellation

Two lesbian women have hit out at travel group Flight Centre for asking them to pay hundreds in cancellation fees to Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA).
Shannon, 26, and Jaqueline, 28, from Australia booked the flights with RBA with a stopover in Brunei last month through Flight Centre. However, after learning about the implementation of Sharia Law – which would see gay and bisexual men stoned to death and queer women face public lashing – they cancelled.
Flight Centre agreed to waive the cancellation fees. The group informed the pair they still needed to pay a $300AUS ($213.42/€190.08) to Royal Brunei Airlines.

Continue reading: https://lgbt.10ztalk.com/2019/04/05/
lesbian-women-forced-to-pay-fees-to-royal-brunei-airlines-after-cancellation/
(source)

U.S: Brooklyn lesbian attacked by Uber driver

taylorbig.jpg

[Taylor] De Souza had to get stitches on her head after she said her Uber ride ended with her being physically assaulted by the driver.
“He said ‘you f—ing lesbian, get out my car,'” De Souza said. “He told me he’ll chop me up and throw me in the river.”
De Souza told PIX11 she did not get out of the vehicle because she said she didn’t feel safe. According to De Souza, that’s when the driver started smoking, despite her telling him she has asthma.

Continue reading: https://pix11.com/2019/04/02/
exclusive-brooklyn-woman-says-uber-driver-attacked-her/
(source)

Lesbians march against stigma and discrimination in Guadalajara, Mexico

lesbians-march-in-guadalajara.png

Lesbian march in Guadalajara (Fernando Carranza).

In Guadalajara, more than one hundred women participated in the IX Gay Lesbian March. … To the rhythm of “we do not want males to kill us” and “my body is mine and I decide”, women demanded that they be accepted with the sexual orientation they chose.
(Translated)

En Guadalajara, más de cien mujeres participaron en la IX Marcha Lésbico Gay. … Al ritmo de “no queremos machos que nos asesinen” y “mi cuerpo es mío y yo decido”, las mujeres exigen que se les acepte con la orientación sexual que eligieron.
(Original)

Contine reading at: https://www.milenio.com/politica/comunidad/realizan-marcha-lesbico-gay-en-guadalajara (Source)

The lesbian Nazi victims who allegedly did not exist: Elli Smula and Margarete Rosenberg

Ravensbruck Orb design

There are numerous publications on the fate of lesbian women who were imprisoned in the Ravensbrück concentration camp. In the last year, comments by a doctorate in history from Berlin caused a sensation, saying that there is no evidence for the actual detention and a whatsoever designed commemorative ball was thus falsifying the history. The LSVD Berlin-Brandenburg relied on this assessment in their remembrance work for women at the Ravensbrück Concentration Camp Memorial Site. … In the traditions of the ITS in Bad Arolsen, although no original access books of the former concentration camp Ravensbrück have been preserved, a few contemporary copies of these camp books have been partially preserved there. From these are two sides of the present complex of topics of great interest – namely the access list of November 30, 1940 : The admission reason for women numbers 11 and 26 was given as “lesbian”. These women are Elli Smula and Margarete Rosenberg, nee Quednau.
(Translated)

Zum Schicksal von lesbischen Frauen, die im Konzentrationslager Ravensbrück inhaftiert waren, gibt es zahlreiche Publikationen. Im letzten Jahr erregten Äußerungen eines promovierten Historikers aus Berlin Aufsehen, der sich damit zu Wort meldet, es gäbe keine Nachweise für die tatsächliche Inhaftierung und eine wie auch immer gestaltete Gedenkkugel sei somit geschichtsverfälschend. Der LSVD Berlin-Brandenburg berief sich bei der Erinnerungsarbeit für Frauen in der KZ-Gedenkstätte Ravensbrück auf diese Einschätzung. … In den Überlieferungen des ITS in Bad Arolsen haben sich zwar keine Originalzugangsbücher des ehemaligen KZ Ravensbrück erhalten, jedoch sind die wenigen zeitgenössischen Abschriften dieser Lagerbücher dort teilweise erhalten geblieben. Aus diesen sind zwei Seiten zum vorliegenden Themenkomplex von großem Interesse – nämlich die Zugangsliste vom 30. November 1940: In ihr werden unter den fortlaufenden Nummern 11 und 26 zwei Frauen mit dem Einlieferungsgrund lesbisch genannt. Bei diesen Frauen handelt es sich um Elli Smula und um Margarete Rosenberg, geborene Quednau.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.blu.fm/aktuell/community/lesbische-naziopfer-ravensbrueck/ (Source)

Further information: “Rioting” – dispute between LSVD Berlin-Brandenburg and activists escalated

Original articles:

Brazil: Businessman confesses that he killed lesbian uber driver because she refused to have sex

Vanusa da Cunha Ferreira

Suspected of killing driver Vanusa da Cunha Ferreira, Parsilon Lopes dos Santos said on Wednesday that he committed the crime after the victim refused to have sexual intercourse with him after a private race. According to the Civil Police, he still raped the woman after killing her. 

Vanusa, a 36-year-old nursing technician and driver, was found dead Sunday night, in Jardim Copacabana, in Aparecida de Goiânia, in the Metropolitan Region of the capital. Hours earlier, her car was found on a city street and passed by expertise. Parsilon was arrested on Monday.
(Translated)

Suspeito de matar a motorista de aplicativo Vanusa da Cunha Ferreira, Parsilon Lopes dos Santos disse, nesta quarta-feira (23), que cometeu o crime após a vítima se negar a manter relação sexual com ele depois de uma corrida particular. Segundo a Polícia Civil, ele ainda estuprou a mulher após matá-la.

Técnica em enfermagem e motorista nas horas vagas, Vanusa, de 36 anos, foi encontrada morta na noite de domingo (20), no Jardim Copacabana, em Aparecida de Goiânia, na Região Metropolitana da capital. Horas antes, o carro dela foi achado em uma rua vicinal da cidade e passou por perícia. Parsilon foi preso
(Original)

Continue reading at: http://www.folhamax.com/mundo/empresario-confessa-que-matou-motorista-de-aplicativo-porque-ela-se-recusou-a-ter-relacoes-sexuais/194502 (Source)

More information: http://www.umoutroolhar.com.br/2019/02/juliana-pereira-conta-que-o-assassino-de-sua-namorada-era-obcecado-por-ela.html

Refugee lesbians at the mercy of the German bureaucracy

Success Johnson and Diana Namusoke

[Diane] Namusoke, 48, and [Success] Johnson, 27, are two lesbian women from Uganda and Nigeria respectively, who have come to Germany in search of asylum. They’ve explained — first to the police officers who picked them up, then to the aid workers at the refugee centers where they were transferred, and then at their asylum application interview at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) — that they feared for their lives in their home countries. That as a lesbian woman, nowhere was safe. And now they’re in acute danger of being deported back to the places they have desperately been trying to escape.

Continue reading at: https://www.dw.com/en/lesbian-asylum-seekers-at-the-mercy-of-german-bureaucracy/a-47935658 (Source)

U.S: Man arrested for the murder of lesbian DJ Salina “Salamander” Rivera

dj

A 21-year-old man was being held without bond this week after being charged on March 15 with the murder of lesbian DJ Salina “Salamander” Rivera, 27, who was found shot to death three days earlier outside her residence in Hyattsville.

Fox 5 News interviewed a woman who identified herself as Rivera’s girlfriend who asked not to be identified or have her face shown on camera.
“She was beautiful and soft and kind hearted and strong and just and fair and understanding and all she ever wanted was peace,” the girlfriend told Fox 5 News in describing Rivera.

Continue reading: https://lgbt.10ztalk.com/2019/03/19/
md-man-arrested-for-murder-of-lesbian-dj/
(source)

Fundraiser for Salina Rivera’s funeral costs:  https://www.gofundme.com/funeral-arrangements-for-salina-rivera

In Memoriam: Lesbian Murder Victims (March 2019 Update)

Lesbians in Memoriam

We honour the following sisters:
  • Brenda Lorena Alvarado Montoya (2019) – Tegucigalpa, Honduras
  • Thuthukile Mabasa (2018) – Capetown, South Africa
  • Nicole Saavedra (2016) – Valparaiso, Brazil
  • Sidney Loofe (2017) – Nebraska, USA
  • Anne Mikaelly (2018) – Brasilia, Brazil
  • Unathi Bixa (2017) – Capetown, South Africa
  • Charlene Ranstrom and Brenda Warner (1988) – Nashua, New Hampshire
  • Cassie Hayes (2018) – Southport, Mercyside, England
  • Marielle Franco (2018) – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Elke W. and Beate N. (2016) – Gersthofen-Hirblingen, Germany
  • Anisha and Joey van Niekerk (2017) – Magaliesberg, South Africa
  • Kaladaa Crowell (and her 11 year-old daughter, Kyra Inglett) (2017) – West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
  • Noxolo Xakeka (2018) – Lwandle, South Africa
  • Kerrice Lewis (2018) – Washington, D.C., USA
  • Shanta Myers and Brandi Mells (and Shanta’s two children, Shanise Myers and Jeremiah Myers) (2017)  – Troy, New York, USA
  • Josanne Maria Almeida da Silva and Ana Paula da Silva Pereira (2017) – Manaus, Brazil
  • Quezia Kassya (2017) – San Paulo, Brazil
  • Georgann Lee Smith (2009) – Sarasota, Florida, USA
  • Ana Flávia Leitão (2017) – Cataguases, Brazil
  • Irani Ribeiro de Medeiros (2017) – Várzea Grande (Mato Grosso), Brazil.
  • Felicia Dormans (2017) – Mount Holly, New Jersey, USA.
  • Lyndsey Vaux (2016) – Wigan, United Kingdom

Continue reading at: http://inmemoriamlesbian.blogspot.com/

Tegucigalpa, Honduras: Lesbian taxi driver murdered

BRENDA-LORENA-ALVARADO-MONTOYA

A woman was found dead this Saturday morning [2 March 2019] in a solitary place located near the detour to the village of Cofradía, about 12 kilometers from Tegucigalpa, on the road to the department of Olancho. The corpse of Brenda Lorena Alvarado Montoya (31) presented several bullet wounds, according to police officers who arrived at the scene of the crime, alerted by residents of the area.
(Translated)

Una mujer fue encontrada muerta la mañana de este sábado en un paraje solitario ubicado cerca del desvío a la aldea de Cofradía, a unos 12 kilómetros de Tegucigalpa, sobre la carretera hacia el departamento de Olancho. El cadáver de Brenda Lorena Alvarado Montoya (31) presentaba varios impactos de bala, según agentes de la Policía que llegaron en un inicio a la escena del crimen, alertados por pobladores de la zona.
(Original)

Continue reading at: http://www.latribuna.hn/2019/03/02/encuentran-mujer-muerta-en-la-salida-hacia-olancho/ (Source)

Additional news source: https://www.laprensa.hn/sucesos/1263873-410/mujer-taxista-encontrada-muerta-carretera-olancho

Chechen lesbians: murdered, abused and assaulted just like the gay men

This is a translation of an article by Ilya Panin at the Aids Centre Russia. The article is located here and IP for the original article is fully retained by the original writer. A condensed version of the original article is also produced on the original site.

Translation was undertaken by Phil S and we thank her for her generous support.

In Moscow on the 10th February, on the day of human rights, human rights advocates presented “a report on the results of the amount of violence received by lesbian, bisexual and transgender women in the Northern Caucasus in the Russian Federation.” Aids.center is publishing the proceedings, as well as the discussion with a Chechen lesbian about the proceedings with LGBT people in the Russian Caucasus.

The presentation of the report was carried out in complete secrecy: the centre of Moscow, a basement room. Such scenes are more suited to signing secret protocols and journalists have been asked not to name the place where the presentation took place, nor the authors of the study, in their notes, nor their names – the organizers seriously fear for their own lives.  And they have reason to fear – one of the female respondents, whose evidence was used for the document, recently died. In the village, where she lived, they said that she “poisoned herself”. One still hasn’t been in touch.

There still exists a serious stigmatisation of LGBT people in Russian society, especially in the North Caucasus republic, where the situation deepens with traditional and religious aspects.

Queer women of the caucasus 1

Illustration 1 from “the report on violence against queer women of the Caucasus”

Illustration translation:
The violence suffered from law enforcement officers
Physical: 14%, sexual: 10%, psychological: 38%

 

In 2017 the leading Russian media published material detailing the kidnappings, violence and torturing of gay men in Chechnya, they mentioned practically nothing about LGBT women: “the first wave of treatment was against men. The treatment of women remained invisible,” one authors states.

In total, twenty-one residents from Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia and North Ossetia took part in the study. One of them was a transgender woman. Five more, who were contacted by researchers, refused to participate.

Not leaving the accommodation, we speak to Kamilla, not her real name, but she asks to call herself this. A Chechen woman, she was born not far from Grozny. In a village which she has asked us not to publish. She has already lived in Moscow for 2 years.

Queer women of the caucasus 2

Illustration 2 from “the report on violence against queer women of the Caucasus”

Illustration translation:
33% attempted suicide –
copyright “Queer Women in Northern Caucasus” project 2018 funded by Genrich Bellya (Moscow)

 

Short hair, sports jacket, leggings. She speaks very quietly, her lips tightly pursed. She’s a lesbian and the only member of the study daring to talk to the reporters in person.

“In Grozny, my friends and I had our own small community of ‘non-traditional orientation’. We met in a flat, we hung out together. It’s not like we were drinking, we would simply simple and talk. Talk quietly. Now 70-80% of the guys and girls have left the republic. Only those with children and families have stayed,” she says. “The police came for some of those who stayed, but they were released in exchange for bribes. No one admitted to what they “are”, because if we admitted it, they would simply kill us. So, it’s a miracle that we were saved. People collected money, brought it to the flat, as a ransom. Then they ran.”

 

Queer women of the caucasus 3

Illustration 3 from “the report on violence against queer women of the Caucasus”

Illustration translation:
The outing and coming out of lesbian, bisexual and transgender women in their families in the Northern Caucasus
“My brother came home from work and started to look for me. He found me with a girl. We were walking in the street. He started to brutally beat me, he beat me on the head, on my face…in the street. My cousin (male) took me home. My brother said that he would kill me, take me to the outskirts of the city and simply kill me there. I was a shame to the family and a constant problem” (CH. R)
38% told us of honour killings of their relatives and (female) friends

 

The Guardians of Islam

Kamilla is now around 35 years old. 29% of those surveyed during the study stated that they had suffered from sexual violence. Researchers in these situations shared the sexual violence in their families and with their spouse. Kamilla escaped this. But she did not escape the loneliness and isolation that many homosexual women face upon leaving their familial home.

“I can’t cut ties with my mother, because we are very close,” Kamilla says so quietly, that you can barely make out the words. “During my time here, I have even gone home to see her twice. I miss her. I haven’t come out. But my mum always sees my way of life: that I socialise with girls. She has never insisted that I stop all this, only got upset, that I don’t live like everyone else. My (female) cousins got married long ago, they had several children, even those younger than me. It upsets her. The male half, of course, knows nothing.”

“No one admitted to what they ‘are’, because if we admitted it, they would simply kill us”

Due to the specific way of life and risks associated with it, ‘coming out’ is rarely done in North Caucasus.  More often, there is an ‘outing’ when an acquaintance, former partner, relative or neighbour tells others about the “non-traditional” sexual preferences or gender identity of someone.

Only one women from those who agreed to talk to researchers came out to her family, but her fate is now unknown: she went missing after a while and all contact has been lost.

“When people are outed, they become outcasts. The family tries to influence them, either physically or morally. Life after this in the Republic is not an option. In every case, you need to leave,” Kamilla verifies. We speak right in the corner of the room, in a safe space, where no one can find us, there are only a few people in the room. But even in this setting, distrust and tension can be felt.

“When I came to study and work in Grozny, my brother blamed me for not living with my mum in my hometown, but I was always bored with my classmates. At this point, I started to become friends with girls through the internet and to travel to a friend in the neighbouring republic.”

Queer women of the caucasus 4

Illustration 4 from “the report on violence against queer women of the Caucasus”

Illustration translation:
24% victims of religious torture
38% witnesses of honour killings of their relatives, friends, acquaintances

 

The more I tried living on my own, the more pressure and threats I received. In Chechnya, it is believed that the male half of the father’s line is responsible for the girl. The same nephews or cousins on the father’s side.

“Now I’m trying to leave the country, I’m waiting for a response. But as far as I know, they can also reach me abroad,” Kamilla continues, carefully choosing her words, “it happened to my friend, they even wrote about him in the paper, he got to know some Chechens online, went on a date, and they turned out to be “Guardians of Islam” and pushed him into a car. Thankfully, he wasn’t a Chechen, but from a neighbouring republic. Otherwise everything could have ended badly, and so he was released.”

 

Undercover marriage

As a rule, underlined by the authors of the report, after relatives learn that a member of the family belongs to the LGBT community, the family is considered to be ‘disgraced’. The purity of the reputation happens through “honour killings”, a practise which is still carried out in Northern Caucasus. 38% of the respondents who participated in the study said that they had not only heard of “honour killings” but personally knew acquaintances or (female) friends who had been killed in this way “due to behaviour that disgraces the family.”

Queer women of the caucasus 5

Illustration 5 from “the report on violence against queer women of the Caucasus”

Illustration translation:
The outing and coming out of lesbian, bisexual and transgender women in their families in the Northern Caucasus
“One of them said that I needed a “purifying of demonic blood” ritual. To do this, my parents pierced the skin of my back with needles, and made small outlines on my arms and legs. They took such a thing…a vacuum, to get the blood. After this I was put in a bath with very salty water and I had to lie there” (CH R)
Undergoing the practice of “chasing out of Djinns” – 24%

 

Forced marriage is an alternative form of “purifying the reputation”. Of the respondents, nine admitted that they were or had been in forced marriages. Seven of the eight women who had gone through a forced marriage, said that their marriage took place after their outing. That is, after relatives received confirmation of their sexual orientation from third parties: for example, through correspondence or personal photographs.

However, events do not always take such a serious turn. Needles to say, open marriage between LGBT people in the Caucasus is forbidden. But family-imposed marriages with the “right” husband can be both a form of punishment and salvation, often being the only way a woman can live relatively normally, without arousing suspicion.

“I still have a tense relationship with my relatives, they believe that I need to come home and get married. I was proposed to not once but twice. They gave out my number, sent grooms,” Kamilla recounts her personal life.

“In the event of an outing, the person becomes an outcast. The family tries to influence them, either physically or morally. Living in the Republic after this is not an option. You need to leave in any situation.”

“To those who are sent, I can’t respond sharply or rudely, as I don’t want to arouse suspicion. There’s technology. We need to break contact slowly with these young men. It’s stressful, of course. But it could be worse. There are families where a father and brother have ordered it, and the girl cannot get out, because a girl must submit to an adult. That’s not happened to me,” she explains.

“Undercover marriage” is a fictitious marriage which often takes place between a homosexual man and woman, so that they can appear to their parents as a “fully-fledged” traditional family.

“I attempted this,” Kamilla says, “we met through the internet. He knew everything about me, I wasn’t against it. In time we became friends. Fictitious marriage is a saviour for women. She can’t go anywhere alone, she can’t travel alone, and she can’t live alone. Men, if they’re not suspected of being gay, have more possibilities to move. But if there are suspicions that the guy isn’t like everyone else, that he isn’t interested in the opposite sex, that there are no dates, it’s not so easy…rumours spread quickly. That’s why they try to marry, to reassure the family. My marriage didn’t happen because at the very last moment the guy got HIV.”

Such legalised forms of relationships give a feeling of security, the authors of the report say, however, patriarchal foundations often hit and this is a fact in a fictitious marriage. Not only heterosexual men but also gay and bisexual men continue to try to completely control their wives, using violent practises, despite the forced and feigned nature of the partnership itself.

Queer women of the caucasus 6

Illustration 6 from “the report on violence against queer women of the Caucasus”

Illustration translation:
Psychological condition of LGBT women, having lived through violence and hate speech
29% self-harm
43% suicidal thoughts
33% attempt suicide

 

Fear of Djinns

It may seem strange that in traditional Caucasus society the practise of “chasing out the Djinns” is still carried out, it is customary to ‘correct’ or ‘heal’ LGBT people through rites of exorcism.

Researchers explain that even parents with a higher education often converse with “specialists on chasing out Djinns.” Moreover, women themselves often believe in the diabolical essence of their desires: a “male djinn” living inside them and the like. The process of expelling the Djinns, after their sexual orientation had been discovered by relatives, had been suffered by 5 out of 21 respondents.

In general, the authors of the report underline that the stigma, the general atmosphere of fear in which homosexual in the Caucasus live, often doesn’t allow them to seek help in time, even in situations of mortal danger. 100% of the respondents in this study claimed to have experienced both physical and psychological violence.

Queer women of the caucasus 7

Illustration 7 from “the report on violence against queer women of the Caucasus”

Illustration translation:
The outing and coming out of lesbian, bisexual and transgender women in their families in the Northern Caucasus
“My brother sat next to me on his knees, he gave me a pistol…he was crying, I swear, he was crying and he was saying, “I gave father my word that I would not kill you. I beg you, shoot yourself, and just shoot yourself!” and…like a zombie, I went up to him and I gave the pistol to him and I said “you want it, so kill me yourself. I’m not going to shoot myself.” And he said, “If you kill yourself, all this will end, we will tell people that it was an accident” (Ch.P) 

14% survived a direct order to commit suicide.

 

“Even if this report doesn’t change anything and nothing else happens, it’s important that we share it, it’s important that you hear us,” Kamilla concludes towards the end of our conversation, “it’s important that there are people with whom we can just share this with. Someone we can trust. In our region, we know about violence, we have nowhere to turn to, there are Russian laws, but nobody complains about the fact that they’re not complied to. It’s a completely different world there. In traditional families, the person must either live with their relatives or have their own family. Otherwise you will be alone, an outcast, and most of us simply do not have the freedom of choice. What we can wear, who we can talk to, how we can live and in which city, with a male or female partner. Women must be women, men must be men, and everyone has their responsibility. But, nevertheless, I dream of having the freedom to choose”

For the first few days after the presentation, the authors didn’t publish the report online, fearing for their own safety. Today, it went out on an overseas site. Unfortunately, to date, those who are at risk of being exposed are not only those who do not fit into the “traditional” ideas according to local customs, but also human rights activists, researchers and journalists covering “uncomfortable topics”, often beyond the law, discussing the lives of the people there.
The Caucasus.
Where human rights do not exist.

Original Russian article: https://spid.center/ru/articles/2223 (Source)