Tuesday, October 26, 2010

In support of our Global Transgender Community..................

Integrity Joins TransEpiscopal and Other International Rights Groups in Support of Transgender Activists in Turkey

Here is the story from the Associated Press:

International rights groups on Monday urged Turkey to drop criminal charges against five transgender rights activists and encouraged authorities to investigate the police treatment of the case.

Police stopped the five in May, accused them being prostitutes and beat them up, according to the Ankara-based transgender rights group, Pembe Hayat, or Pink Life.

The five go on trial on Oct. 21 on charges of resisting police and face a maximum three years in prison .

Five international human rights and gay rights organizations, including the New York-based Human Rights Watch, said in a joint letter to Turkey's Interior and Justice ministers that the police officers should be held accountable. Police would not comment on the case.

The rights group called for an end to violence against transvestites and transsexuals in Turkey and asked that the government enact laws to protect gays and lesbians against discrimination.

Human rights advocates say gays and lesbians suffer frequent discrimination and abuse despite human rights reforms enacted in line with Turkey's bid to join the European Union.

Many transgender people escape Turkey's conservative towns and villages for more tolerant cities like Istanbul and Ankara. But many still encounter hostility and discrimination and, unable to get jobs, turn to prostitution.

About a dozen transgender people, most of them sex workers, have been killed in Turkey over the past few years in attacks activists have described as hate crimes. They claim authorities and police remain unsympathetic and fail to adequately investigate the murders.

Read the rest of the story

The Rev. Cameron Partridge of TransEpiscopal has this to say:

"We stand in complete solidarity with the five transgender activists as they go on trial in Turkey.  We pray for their release, for the recognition of their human dignity, and that those who have treated these women in such a dehumanizing way would be held accountable for their actions.  As we move toward Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20, when communities around the world remember those who have died because of their gender identity or expression, we work to transform cultures of violence into spacious communities in which all of us can be who we are."

Please join TransEpiscopal, Integrity and other major international human rights organizations by expressing your concerns to the two Turkish Ministers:

Mr. Sadullah Ergin
Ministry of Justice
Address: 06659 Kizilay, Ankara, Turkey
Fax: +90 312 419 33 70
E-Mail: sadullahergin@adalet.gov.tr, iydb@adalet.gov.tr

Mr. Beşir Atalay 
Ministry of the Interior
Address: T.C. İcisleri Bakanlığı, Bakanlıklar, Ankara, TurkeyTel: +90 312 422 40 22
E-Mail: besir.atalay@icisleri.gov.tr; ozelkalem@icisleri.gov.tr

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