In a horrifying incident, Saudi Police allegedly tortured two Pakistani transgenders to death who were arrested during a raid at Riyadh guesthouse. The deceased, identified as Amma (35) and Meeno (26), both hailing from Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunwala, were packed in sacks, thrashed with sticks and tortured to death, according to human rights activists.
A total of 35 transgender people were arrested during the raid of whom two died in custody on Tuesday. According to reports 22 people are still in custody.
The raid targeted a house where formal Khawaja Sara meeting was taking place, the Pakistani newspaper Express Tribune said. The ‘Khwaja Sara’ is a Pakistani term for third gender people including transvestites, transsexuals and transgenders. Police conducted the raid on a Saudi law that criminalizes cross-dressing and for having same-sex relationships in the capital of Riyadh.
“Torturing humans after throwing them into bags and beating them with sticks is inhumane,” Qamar Naseem, a transgender rights activist told Express Tribune.
“No one is there to save them as the life of a transgender is not of any value to anyone, not even for our own government.” he said adding that the majority of the 35 were Pakistani nationals. Homosexuality is punishable by death while any sex-change surgery is illegal. Additionally transgender people are barred from making the religious pilgrimage to Mecca.
However, this is not the first time Saudi Arabia made news for crushing the rights of transgenders. In 2009, 67 men were arrested in Riyadh for cross-dressing, according to Human Rights Watch. They received lashes and jail time for the offense.