The U.S. has condemned the so-called honor killing of a transgender woman in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Media reports indicate Doski Azad’s brother, Chakdar Azad, murdered her in Mangesh, a village in Duhok province, on Jan. 28.
Authorities in the semi-autonomous region of northern Iraq say Chakdar Azad had been living in Europe for several years until he returned to the region in December. Chakdar Azad reportedly shot his sister twice in the head and chest.
Doski Azad was 23 and a make-up artist.
“The United States notes with concern media reports that Doski Azad, a resident of Duhok, was the victim of a so-called ‘honor’ killing,” said the U.S. Consulate General in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, on Thursday in a statement. “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.”
The executive director of IraQueer, an organization that advocates on behalf of LGBTQ Iraqis, on Thursday told the Washington Blade during a telephone interview that Doski Azad was well-known among the region’s trans community.
IraQueer said Doski Azad’s relatives repeatedly threatened her because she was trans. IraQueer told the Blade that her brother killed her because, in their mind, she had “degraded the males in her family.”
“It’s really frustrating what has happened,” IraQueer told the Blade. “I’m really sad.”
Kurdish authorities have issued a warrant for Chakdar Azad’s arrest, but he has reportedly fled the region.