Saudi Arabia police arrested 35 trans women and and allegedly tortured two by throwing them into sacks and beating them with sticks until they died.
The murder victims are being named as Amno, who was 35, and Meeno, who was 26.
Authorities in Riyadh raided a gathering of trans women and gender rights activists to charge the women with ‘cross-dressing’ – a punishable offense in Saudi Arabia.
Colonel Fawaz bin Jameel alMaiman, the police’s media spokesperson, said the site had been under ‘constant surveillance’. Women’s clothing and jewellery were ‘recovered’ from the rest house. He confirmed 35 people inside had been apprehended.
The vast majority of the victims were from Pakistan.
Trans activist Qamar Naseem has accused Riyadh police of acting in an ‘inhumane’ and ‘illegal’ way.
‘Torturing humans after throwing them into bags and beating them with sticks is inhumane,’ Naseem said, according to the Pakistan Tribune.
‘While 11 were released later after paying a fine of 150,000 riyals ($40,000, €37,500), 22 are still in police custody’, Naseem added.
Amno and Meeno were killed, Naseem said, and the rest remain in Saudi jails.
”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,’ they added.
Naseem said the group has contacted the National Commission for Human Rights.