Namibia: Civil Society Condemns Abuse of Transgender

The Namibian Civil Society have condemned the gross dehumanization, unlawful detention and torture of a transwoman on a farm near Gobabis several weeks ago, which was filmed and circulated on social media.

The civil group is also concerned with the ensuing homo and transphobic commentary and attacks in the communities following the circulation of the video clip.

Following the release of the video, the survivor has been subjected to community wide scrutiny, threats and further discrimination, exacerbating the trauma she currently faces and will continue to face, the group added.

The Society meanwhile commended the rapid response from the Ministry of Justice and Gender, the Namibian police and law enforcement agents for ensuring that the perpetrator and accomplices were apprehended.

"Criminal charges have been opened against the assailants and despite the lack of safe houses and shelters, especially catering for transwomen, the survivor of this violent act has been relocated to a place of safety and psychosocial support has been provided," they added.

The Civil Society highlighted Chapter 3 of the Namibian Constitution, a chapter underscoring and cementing the Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of all citizens, in which lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) Namibians are included.

"As a country we have been progressive in policy and law, however, the widespread hate speech, transphobic attacks, legitimisation and sensationalism of the tortuous act, by the community and online responses, removes the human dignity of the survivor and violates so many of the rights that we all expect for the advancement and betterment of our country," the group said.

The Society said they have faith in the criminal and civil justice system in which they hope to see access to justice and the right to information attained at all times.

"We call on the Namibian government to stand by its zero tolerance stance against human rights violations, including those faced by the LGBTI community, the nation to restrain form homophobic and transphobic hate speech, harassment and discrimination towards members of the LGBT community, and the media to ethically and objectively report on the case by avoiding sensational headlines and misrepresentation of the gender identity/gender expression of members of the transgender community."

More From: Namibia Economist

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