Transgender death in Saudi Arabia prompts call for inquiry
Posted April 13
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Human Rights Watch is calling on Saudi Arabia to investigate the death of a Pakistani transgender woman who had been detained by police in the capital, Riyadh, following a raid on a private gathering.
The rights organization says a family member claims the transgender woman was tortured in custody.
Human Rights Watch said Thursday the medical report states the body did not show "any signs of suspicious wounds." A police memo says the detainee complained of chest pains and was taken to a hospital.
Saudi news website Sabq published pictures of the February raid, showing men dressed in women's clothing and makeup with their identities concealed.
Homosexuality and cross-dressing are not permitted in Saudi Arabia, which implements a conservative interpretation of Islamic law. Sentences include imprisonment, fines and lashes.