Category Archives: Bangladesh persecution of Homosexuals

LGBT Community Calls for the Repeal of Section 377

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Sam is a university-educated Muslim-born Hindu of 25 years. He is living in Dhaka and works as a university teacher. Six years ago, after graduating from college at the age of 19, he discovered that his sexual orientation deviates from the cultural norm in Bangladesh. Today he is in a romantic relationship with a man. He also has had sexual encounters with women before and describes himself as a bisexual man. Sam and his boyfriend go on trips together, hold hands on the streets of Dhaka and share a bed when staying at each other‟s places. Since male-male friendships are traditionally very intimate in Bangladesh, these practices cast no doubt upon their presumed heterosexual identities. Family and friends consider Sam and his boyfriend to be close friends. “As long as you don‟t come out open to your family, you are safe,” Sam explains. Sam is not his real name. Afraid of the possible social and legal consequences, he agreed to speak only under the condition of anonymity.

Like Sam and his boyfriend, many homosexuals in Bangladesh hide their sexual orientation from their friends and families. “It is easy to live a moderate life with a hidden identity if one is homosexual.” In predominantly Muslim countries, homosexuality is often looked upon as a sin. Accordingly, the consequences of coming out can be severe. Some gay men who inform their families about their sexual orientation are forced into a heterosexual marriage. Other parents consider homosexuality a mental illness and object their gay sons to religious brainwashing or psychiatric treatment. Sam heard of cases in Bangladesh where electric shocks were applied to homosexual men in an effort to “cure” them from their supposed psychiatric condition. He is convinced that, “unless the government, parents and friends understand that a man or woman can be a gay or a lesbian and yet be a very good and devout Muslim, Hindu or Christian, the chances for LGBT (“lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender‟) rights in Bangladesh are low.” Society in Bangladesh is far from that. Homosexuality among men is seen as a morally deprived Western phenomenon that needs to be fended off. “While the existence of gay sex is at least acknowledged by most people though, lesbian sex does not even exist in the dreams of people in Bangladesh.”

The status of homosexuality as a social and religious taboo is also reflected in the Bangladeshi Criminal Code. Its Section 377, a legacy of British rule, refers to consensual oral and anal sex as “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” and subjects it to punishment up to imprisonment for life. Effectively, this section makes homosexual intercourse illegal in Bangladesh. Interestingly, prosecutions under Section 377 are extremely rare. Section 377, hence, does not impair Bangladesh‟s moderate image in the world and questions about the country‟s human rights record on the issue of homosexuality are avoided in the international arena. Not only in court, but also in mainstream media the issue has largely been ignored. The LGBT community is forced into a shadow existence and its voice is effectively silenced in the public sphere. However, mainly due to new media, times are changing.

Starting out as an online group in 2002, an organization called Boys of Bangladesh (BoB) has become a central forum for gay and bisexual men in Bangladesh. BoB currently has more than 2000 registered members, including school students as well as Ph.D. holders. Their ages range between 16 and more than 50 years. BoB is run by around twenty young men and has increasingly become public in recent years. In November 2010, it conducted the second edition of a festival titled “Under the Rainbow”, in cooperation with the German Goethe-Institut in Dhaka. Under the slogan “accept diversity and end discrimination”, the five-day festival included movie screenings, art exhibitions and musical performances and brought together leading human rights activists from with the country and abroad. Angela Grünert, director of the Goethe-Institut, explains her involvement in the LGBT movement in Bangladesh with the belief that “everyone should have equal rights in the society”, regardless of religion, ethnicity, sex or sexual orientation. BoB organized various other events, mainly in Dhaka, and its representatives attended international conferences on LGBT issues in Nepal and Thailand. The organization further provides homosexuals in Bangladesh with information on health and legal issues on its website at http://boysofbangladesh.org/.

Change on the subcontinent is also happening on the legal front. An Indian court in the country‟s capital, Delhi, decriminalized homosexual intercourse by repealing Section 377 of the Indian Criminal Code in July 2009, saying that treating certain forms of consensual sex between adults as a crime is a violation of fundamental human rights. For Sam, this is a sign of hope. He is convinced that, due to the profound cultural links between India and Bangladesh, the Indian court‟s ruling will spark a public debate on LGBT issues in Bangladesh and encourage the homosexual youth here to fight for their rights. “It is the youth, exposed to international media and increasingly educated, that is empowering the LGBT movement in Bangladesh.”

Some movements in Islam, such as the US-based Al-Fatiha Foundation, accept and consider homosexuality as natural and work towards the acceptance of non-heterosexual love-relationships within the global Muslim community. Progressive Muslim scholars around the world argue that Qur’anic verses on homosexuality are obsolete in the context of modern society and point out that, while the Qur‟an speaks out against homosexual lust, it is silent on homosexual love. However, in Bangladesh, religion remains the single most persistent obstacle for LGBT rights.

The LGBT rights movement in Bangladesh is growing rapidly and the voices for the repeal of Section 377 are becoming louder. The issue is bound to emerge into a public battle over the young nation’s religious and cultural identity, human rights and modernity and will pose a challenge to policymakers, religious authorities and leaders of civil society alike.

Rainer Ebert is a moral philosopher at Rice University in the United States of America. He is specializing in animal ethics and issues of global justice.

Mahmudul Hoque Moni is the founding director of the Centre for Practical Multimedia Studies at the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism at the University of Dhaka. He is interested in human rights issues, social justice, sports media and visual communication.

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Filed under Analysis of Homosexual Issues, Bangladesh persecution of Homosexuals, Bangladesh- Policies and declarations, Media-Indian Subcontinent

Between invisible friends

Crossposted from Himal Magazine

www.himalmag.com/Between-invisible-friends_nw3911.html

By Delwar Hussein

Bangladeshis thrive in and work against the ‘grey area’ of subtle acceptance of un-discussed alternative sexualities.

From a very young age, Suleman (not his real name) has known that he was attracted to men. He would wear his mother’s saris when she was out of the house, and put on his sister’s makeup in the belief that this is what men found appealing. Suleman also knew that he wanted to be an imam. He sought to understand the creation of the world, to find answers to questions about life after death. At 13 he joined a madrassa, where he began the required rigorous training, which included memorising the entire Quran and learning Arabic and Persian. Small in stature but with an imposing black beard, he is today dressed in a white kurta-pyjama with a matching skull cap. “Imams have a lot of responsibility,” he says. “The Malik has chosen me, even with all my flaws, to follow him. If I can fulfil even the slightest of his wishes, then Allah is pleased.”

Now 32, Suleman believes his education is still not over, although he is a teacher at the same madrassa at which he studied, leading the five daily prayers and also the Friday jumma at one of the largest mosques in Dhaka. His dry, husky voice, a result of the fiery sermons about how to lead an Islamic life, has a cheerful tinkle buried within it. Suleman made the decision to become a religious leader partly in the hope that it would bring an end to the desire he had for men, something he thought at the time to be outside the bounds of religious acceptability. As with the other Abrahamic religions, the story of Lot and the destruction of Sodom, used by some Muslims to condemn homosexuality, was a narrative with which he was intimately familiar. In earlier years, Suleman tried controlling his feelings by praying and fasting obsessively, in the process excelling in the eyes of the scholars at the madrassa.

But his urges only became more intense. “All night in the madrassa dormitory, my eyes would see no sleep,” he remembers. “I wanted to be able to care for a man, marry him and give him physical pleasure.” One day, Suleman hesitantly shared his yearnings with a fellow student. They ended up having sex. Afterwards, he was meticulous about following the guidelines set out by Islamic scriptures on fornication. He had already recited a prayer before they slept together and then, afterwards, he went to the bathroom to wash his mouth, hands and entire body. Only then did he go to sleep. In the morning, he prayed for forgiveness and read the Quran. This turned out to be a pivotal moment. For the first time in his life, it dawned on him that what he had done was not wrong. In his prayers that day, he remembers questioning the almighty, “My friend and I needed and wanted to do this. It gave us peace of mind and body. Is this so wrong?”

Grey existence
Suleman hardly represents the norm in the world of Bangladeshi Islamic orthodoxy. “As all the fingers on our hands are of different shapes and sizes, not all imams are the same,” he says with a smile. I ask him whether he believes what he did was gunah, a sin. He has clearly given this much thought. “Love has always existed between men, even in the days of the Prophet, and it always will,” he says. He asks me whether I can name the worst sin a person can commit. I cannot. He replies that it is to give koshto, pain, to another. Giving koshto is the equivalent of destroying a mosque. “He has said that we should love one another, give each other joy and happiness. The Sharia even says this,” Suleman says. “When I am with the person I love, I am giving him pleasure, joy, affection, my body. He is doing the same in return. So where is the gunah in this?”


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International Campaign to Promote Human Rights across Muslim Societies

Crossposted from ILGHRC website

http://www.iglhrc.org/cgi-bin/iowa/article/takeaction/partners/997.html

IGLHRC believes that a vital part of our mission is supporting the work of activist organizations and allies by disseminating important information on human rights issues affecting LGBT communities worldwide. To this end we are reposting the following announcement from one of our partners.

For Immediate Release

Contact: Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR) – New Ways
Email: irazca.geray@wwhr.org
Tel: +90 212 251 00 29

Human rights, including sexual and reproductive rights have been under attack in all Muslim societies. Rising conservatism, fueled by militarism, increasing inequalities, the politicization of religion and Islamophobia have strengthened patriarchal and extremist religious ideologies. For instance, last week a woman in Turkey was asked to get written consent from her rapist in order to have an abortion which is against all existing legal regulations, while a recent bill passed in the Sudan annulled the prohibition of FGM/C and a new legislation in Indonesia’s Aceh now allows for stoning to death as punishment for adultery, while the bodily and sexual rights of Palestinian women continue to be violated in the shadow of the apartheid wall…These examples remind us again that sexuality is not a private issue but a site of political struggle.

On November 9, 2009, a very diverse group of NGOs will stage bold actions in 11 countries to promote human rights. As part of the historic international campaign “One Day One Struggle” organized by the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR), over 20 organizations will hold simultaneous events and public demonstrations on topics like protesting customary practices such as honor killings and FGM/C, overturning discriminatory and life threatening laws like stoning or lashing of women, and calling for LGBT rights, the right to sexuality education and the right to bodily and sexual integrity of all people.

During the Campaign that promises to be a milestone event in the history of the sexual and reproductive rights movement, hundreds will gather in university campuses in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Lebanon and the Sudan, at press conferences in Cyprus, Egypt and Malaysia, in conference and concert halls in Tunisia and Pakistan and on the streets of Turkey and Palestine, to assert that sexual and reproductive rights are universal human rights based on the inherent freedom, dignity and equality of all human beings.

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CSBR is a globally renowned solidarity network of progressive NGOs and premier academic institutions in the Middle East, North Africa, South and Southeast Asia, working to promote sexual and bodily rights as human rights in Muslim societies. www.wwhr.org/csbr.php

To find out more about the Campaign in:

Bangladesh:
Bandhu Social Welfare Organization, Centre for Gender, Sexuality and HIV/AIDS James P. Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University, Naripokkho, Rongberong: sabina@bracu.ac.bd; dmsiddiqi@yahoo.com
Boys of Bangladesh (BoB): xecon27@yahoo.com

Cyprus:
Feminist Workshop (FEMA): feministatolye@gmail.com

Egypt:
Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), New Woman Foundation (NWF): eipr@eipr.org

Indonesia:
GAYa NUSANTRA: maria.notes@yahoo.com
Puan Amal Hayati Foundation (PUAN): atashabsjah@yahoo.com

Lebanon:
Meem: lynn@meemgroup.org
Helem: ghassan@helem.net

Maylasia:
Women’s Aid Organization (WAO), All Women’s Action Society (AWAM), Sisters in Islam (SIS), Empower: vizlakumaresan@yahoo.co.uk

Pakistan:
Vision: ahsan_anwari@hotmail.com
Organization for the Protection and Propagation of the Rights of Sexual Minorities (OPPRSM): kylapasha@gmail.com

Palestine:
Gender Studies Project at MADA Al-Carmel, Arab Center for Applied Social Research: himmat@mada-research.org
Muntada, The Arab Forum for Sexuality, Education and Health: safa.tamish@gmail.com
Women Against Violence (WAV): aida_touma_slima@hotmail.com; wav_org@hotmail.com

Sudan:
Ahfad University for Women: Amani_elkhatim@yahoo.com

Tunisia:
Association Tunisienne des Femmes Démocrates (ATFD):ahlembelhadj@gmail.com; childpsy_razi@yahoo.fr

TURKEY:
Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR) – New Ways: irazca.geray@wwhr.org

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Australia tells Bangladeshi asylum seekers ‘Prove you’re gay’

Australia tells Bangladeshi asylum seekers ‘Prove you’re gay’


Source: Sydney Star Observer

By Ani Lamont

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A Bangladeshi couple may have to have sex in front of witnesses to prove they are gay in order to secure asylum in Australia.

The couple, who cannot be named, have been told to prove they are gay when they appear before the Refugee Tribunal for the fourth time in more than 10 years.

Their barrister, Bruce Levet, said short of forcing the couple to have sex in front of witnesses, physically proving their sexuality was difficult.

“I’ve been bending over backwards to try and think of some way to prove these guys are gay,” Levet told Sydney Star Observer. “They don’t frequent gay bars, they are in a monogamous relationship — so it’s not like we can do what would be easiest to do, to get stat decs from different blokes they’ve slept with. One of them is a particularly private person, and they don’t live in mainstream gay society — so it’s incredibly difficult trying to prove this.

“They don’t really know anyone in gay society. They’re not frequenters of gay establishments, they came here together, they’ve lived together exclusively for 20 years.”

The couple came to Australia in 1998 and have been fighting for asylum since then on the grounds that, as gay men, their lives would be at risk if they returned home.

Originally, the Refugee Tribunal ruled the pair would be safe to return to Bangladesh if they lived discreetly.

That decision was overturned by the High Court. However, afraid of a pink tide of refugees, the Commonwealth tried to prove the couple were not gay.

At their second tribunal appearance the men were forced to undergo DNA testing to prove they were not related after it was suggested they were brothers. The tests proved they were not related on the maternal side, but paternal tests were inconclusive and the tribunal ruled the pair were not gay.

At the third tribunal appearance one of the men was asked if he had sex that day and, when he answered yes, if he had used lubricant. When he refused to answer, he was ruled a dishonest witness and the application was again denied.

Levet said he may attempt to get a gay or lesbian psychiatrist to provide evidence or, as a last resort, ask the couple to have sex in front of a witness.
“They’ve said, if worst comes to worst, they’ll do it but they’d regard it as horribly embarrassing and terribly intrusive,” he said.

“I think the assumption is, because these guys are gay, they must live in some sort of bathhouse environment. I want to find a way to disprove this without subjecting them to that.”

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Judge blasts ‘biased’ refugee tribunal

Source: The Australian

By Michael Pelly

A FEDERAL Court judge has denounced the Refugee Review Tribunal for its treatment of a gay Bangladeshi couple, finding it twisted facts and ignored evidence as it heard their claim for asylum.

Justice Jeffrey Spender said the tribunal’s ruling that the men were not homosexual and would therefore not face persecution in their homeland was “not an exercise in honest fact finding”.

The men even took DNA tests to disprove claims they were related, but the judge said the tribunal had “irrationally and indefensibly” found the results indicated they might be cousins.

The tribunal also found that one man was not a credible witness because he refused to answer questions about whether they used lubricants during sex on the grounds such matters were personal. Justice Spender said the tribunal decision was “deliberately calculated” to get round problems caused by a High Court ruling and “not made in good faith”.

“Such a finding is one that is not reached lightly, and unsurprisingly is one that is very rare,” he added.

The case will now return to the tribunal for a fourth time, but barrister Bruce Levet doubts his clients will ever get a fair hearing. “On the last occasion, I was ashamed to be a lawyer and an officer of the court,” he said.

The men arrived in Australia in 1999 and applied for protection visas. The first tribunal accepted they were homosexual but ruled they would not face persecution if they were “discreet about such matters”.

The High Court said the tribunal did not seriously consider the threat of physical harm, including bashings by police, and ordered a review of the decision. This time the tribunal found the men were not homosexual but close relatives who had been married to women. At one point the men became so desperate to prove their credibility, they offered to have sex in front of a witness nominated by the tribunal.

Mr Levet said his clients were “terrified at the thought of having to return to Bangladesh”. They have bridging visas and are living in southwest Sydney.

“The only way the tribunal could find against them was if they stuck to the (second) finding that they were not gay, even though the first tribunal made an actual finding they were gays in a gay relationship.” Justice Spender noted the “improbable” decision of the third tribunal was based on its opinion of the witnesses, which would normally make it immune from review.

But he said it was unfair to declare “J” not credible, simply because he failed to answer a question about lubricants which had been prefaced with “Now you may not want to answer this question”.

He said that the material sought by the tribunal had “the flavour of interrogation” and that the treatment of the DNA tests had been “contrived to support a predetermined result”.

“The tribunal was guilty of bias, in the sense that it was predisposed to making its ultimate finding that the appellants were not in a homosexual relationship,” Justice Spender said.

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We’ll have sex to prove we’re gay, says Bangladesh refugee

720523-gay-bangladesh-refugees

Tribunal ... the men are preparing for yet another appeal. Source: The Daily Telegraph

TWO gay men from Bangladesh who offered to have sex before Australian immigration officials to prove their sexuality will appeal their case for protection visas for the fourth time in 10 years.

The men, who cannot be named, told The Daily Telegraph they feared being killed if their latest bid for refugee status is refused at a hearing later this month.

A Federal Court judge recently criticised the Refugee Review Tribunal for its treatment of the pair, who first applied for asylum in 1999, finding it was deliberately biased against them.

In a scathing summation, Justice Spender found three previous tribunals had unreasonably twisted facts to deny the men were homosexual, using unsubstantiated claims they were brothers who had been married to women.

While a first tribunal found they were homosexual, it refused them entry on the grounds they could avoid persecution in Bangladesh if they “lived discreetly”. The High Court later upheld their appeal stating the gay men faced a “real risk” of harm if they were deported and could not reasonably be expected to live in hiding.

A subsequent tribunal then used an anonymous phone call to contest the men were brothers, a claim later disproved by DNA testing.

Increasingly frustrated by the process, the couple said in a submission: “We are prepared to have an adult witness view us engaged in an act of homosexual intercourse and then attest before you to that fact.”

In a 2007 hearing, the tribunal asked one of the two men “if he and the second applicant have sex in the morning” and “if they used a lubricant.” The 36-year-old said he had been “too embarrassed to answer the personal questions”, with his refusal later used as proof he was a not a credible witness.

Human rights lawyer Bruce Levet, who represents the men, described the tribunal’s conduct as “disgraceful” adding: “I was ashamed to be a lawyer.”

Because the men had lived monogamously for 14 years and did not frequent gay bars or take an active part in the gay community, Mr Levet said they had struggled to convince the hearings of their sexuality claims. He said the Commonwealth had resisted granting the asylum test case for fear of a pink wave of refugees from countries opposed to homosexuality.

The pair, who live in southwest Sydney, fled Bangladesh in 1999 after they say they were stoned, kicked and punched during a violent attack.

The Tribunal will announce a new appeal date on October 18.

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Living on the Extreme Margin: Social Exclusion of the Transgender Population (Hijra) in Bangladesh

Sharful Islam Khan1, Mohammed Iftekher Hussain1, Shaila Parveen1, Mahbubul Islam Bhuiyan1,Gorkey Gourab1, Golam Faruk Sarker1, Shohael Mahmud Arafat2, and Joya Sikder3


1Social and Behavioural Sciences Unit, Public Health Sciences Division, ICDDR,B, GPO Box 128, Dhaka1000, Bangladesh,2Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Dhaka1000, Bangladesh, and 3Badhan Hijra Sangha,Kuril, Dhaka 1229, Bangladesh

ABSTRACT
The transgender people (hijra), who claim to be neither male nor female, are socially excluded in Bangladesh.This paper describes social exclusion of hijra [The term is used in this abstract both in singular and plural sense] focusing on the pathway between exclusion and sexual health. In an ethnographic study,50 in-depth interviews with hijra, 20 key-informant interviews, and 10 focus-group discussions (FGDs),along with extensive field observations, were conducted. The findings revealed that hijra are located at the extreme margin of exclusion having no sociopolitical space where a hijra can lead life of a human being with dignity. Their deprivations are grounded in non-recognition as a separate gendered human being beyond the male-female dichotomy. Being outside this norm has prevented them from positioning themselves in greater society with human potential and security. They are physically, verbally, and sexually
abused. Extreme social exclusion diminishes self-esteem and sense of social responsibility. Before safer sex interventions can be effective in a broader scale, hijra need to be recognized as having a space on society’s gender continuum. Hijra, as the citizens of Bangladesh and part of society’s diversity, have gender, sexual and citizenship rights, that need to be protected.

Read the full article here: http://www.icddrb.org/images/JHPN274-Living_on_the_Extreme_Margin_Social_Exclusion_of_the_Transgender_Population(Hijra)_in_Bangladesh.pdf

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Comments by Ashok DEB:

Joya Sikdar

Joya Sikdar

This research paper has been published by ICDDR- B and prominent Trans Right activist Joya Sikdar has actively contributed to this article. This can be conceived as a step in the right direction as we need the members of the Trans Community to speak out for themselves.Generally the trans population in Bangladesh are unethically utilized by the research workers to gather a glimpse into their secretive lives and societies. Generally these researchers, some of them have even self-appointed themselves Hijra Experts of Bangladesh, have treated these individuals from an anthropological point of view, rather ignoring the massive human rights violations,anti-pathy and societal marginalization these individuals suffer in Bangladesh.

Presently the Trans community needs to identify resourceful members within its own community to steer them into a direction where they can co-exist within the conservative Islamic fabric of Bangladesh. This research paper vividly describes the discrimination, persecution, physical abuses and rights violation that the Trans community in Bangladesh are being subjected to relentlessly.

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Daily Star newsline brews up Transphobia

Committed to PEOPLE’S RIGHT TO KNOW
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 05:04 PM GMT+06:00
Published On: 2009-06-25
Metropolitan
Hijra panic grips city dwellers
Alpha Arzu
City dwellers remain in a state of panic nowadays due to frequent attacks of hermaphrodite (hijras) populace who suddenly come to the houses or make attacks on individuals at different signal points for money or other goods.

Hijras attacked Shamima Akhter, mother of a two-month-old son, at her Gulshan residence where she lives with her husband.

She said, “I went to the veranda after hearing shouting of my guard around 11:00am yesterday and found some five to six hijras beat up my guard as he refused to allow them to the house.”

“I got panicked and called my husband, who was also harassed by the group of hijras. They demanded Tk 5,000 for our kid’s welfare, otherwise they would kidnap my son,” said Shamima.

The doting mother also said, “We finally paid them Tk 2000 after much hard bargaining. We have already decided to change our house from this area as they [hijras] frequently come.”

Runu Ahmed, mother of a newborn, of Sector-13 at Uttara Model Town said, “I’ve been observing some hijras moving around our house in the last few days. On Friday, when my husband and father-in-law went to the mosque for Juma prayers, they entered the house skipping the wall.”

“It was horrible as my mother-in-law was sick, and I just cured after my delivery 10 days before. So, we got panicked and called the police, who rescued us by paying Tk 500 on that day,” said Runu, wife of Jewel Ahmed, a high official of a private phone company.

The couple explained how they had fallen victim to the eunuchs second time just after three days. This time they [hijras] were saying with more offensively: “Police never do anything against us, and as you called police on Friday, you would have to pay more Tk 1000 and the grand total is Tk 6000 today.”

After an hour’s bargaining, the family got relief of the harassment after the intervention of the Rapid Action Battalion, who came to the place after getting a phone call from their neighbour, said Runu.

Officer-in-Charge (OC) ABM Zakir Hossain of Uttara Model Police Station told The Daily Star, “Earlier, we received at least 15 calls each day. The number is on the decrease now.”

“We have met the hijras several times and offered 300 hijras jobs at a time at a garment factory, but they refused to work, he said.

About 150 hijras live in different slums at Uttara, the OC said, adding, “Hijras ensured us at a meeting that they would not charge the exorbitant amount. The amount was fixed between Tk 200 and Tk 500, which was Tk 2000 and Tk 5000 earlier.”

“People now get panicked instead of showing kindness to them for their attacking and offensive behaviour,” said Zakir.

Hijras also attacked the commuters at different signal points where cars and other vehicle stopped for few minutes, said a victim, who recently lost a mobile phone and a wallet from his own car at Mohakhali.

“Suddenly, they come to the car and try to enter the vehicle by force or start to scold in very offensive language and gesture,” said the victim.

The hijras also attack the different construction firms who are constructing the new building. They come to the project site and demanded money, otherwise they take construction materials, including rod, wood and others, which also cost Tk 1000 to Tk 2000, said Mahmudul Hasan Prince, site manager of Nandan Kanon Developers.

Kachi, a hijra community leader of Uttara, told this correspondent, “We are human by born, not by sexual identity; but people always neglect us to live in a society or a family. So, we have to find new ways to survive.

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