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Trans woman allegedly shot by brother in so-called 'honour killing'

The killing has increased fears for LGBTQ people living in the area.

2022-02-08

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Twitter/@Kurdistan Watch

A trans woman was allegedly shot by her brother in a so-called 'honour killing' in Iraqi Kurdistan, according to local reports. 

Doski Azad, 23, was killed on 28 January near the city of Duhok and was found by authorities on 1 February. The makeup artist was allegedly shot twice by her brother who is thought to have fled the country. 

Police have issued a warrant for the brother's arrest who they believe lives in Germany.

"We categorically condemn this violence"

Hemin Suleiman from the Duhok police told VOA: "Our investigation so far suggests that Doski Azad was killed by her brother at a location just outside the city before he managed to flee the crime scene."

The US State Department issued a statement on Thursday 3 February reading: "We categorically condemn this violence and the discrimination that is undoubtedly at the root of this crime. We ask the authorities to thoroughly investigate this murder and prosecute the perpetrator to the fullest extent of the law."

VOA has also spoken to Hayfa Doski, a women’s rights activist in Duhok, who said Azad's killing had increased fear among transgender people in the area. Doski added: "They already feel discriminated against in our society and attacks like this only exacerbate those fears."

The Kurdish LGBT+ activist and founder of the LGBTQ rights group Yeksani, Zhiar Ali, told local media outlet Rudaw that "To say that the LGBT+ community was appalled by this heinous crime is an understatement.

"We are extremely alarmed by the continuous human rights violations against the LGBT+ community in the region."

The Attitude February issue is out now. Get your copy here