Detention for eight suspected of assaulting transwoman till Friday

Syed Jaymal Zahiid
Eight males suspected of assaulting a transwoman in Seremban were remanded last week. — pic via AFP

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 22 ― The Magistrates’ Court has extended the remand order on eight males suspected of assaulting a transwoman in Seremban, Negri Sembilan last week.

The police had initially obtained a five-day remand order but applied for a three-day extension yesterday.

The two primary suspects, aged 37 and 16, were picked up by the authorities on August 17 and the remaining six suspects, believed to aged between 16 and 18, were arrested and detained yesterday. All the suspects are expected to be charged this Friday.

“Initially, the other six boys were released after statements were taken,” a lawyer representing one of the suspects told Malay Mail, adding that they were not officially under arrest at that time.

“But the instructions from the prosecutor was to arrest and remand those boys as [he] was not satisfied with their statements. So now all remand until Friday,” the lawyer added.

The victim reportedly suffered serious injuries including several broken bones. She was discharged from the hospital on Sunday, according to news reports.

Transgender activist Nisha Ayub responding to the assault on Facebook last week said: “Their reason for hitting her was because they did not like her.”

The assault has prompted concerns over the spread of hate-crime against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) community. Rights groups said there is urgency for the government to lay out counteractive measures to prevent violence against them.

There has been a surge of anti-LBGT sentiment lately as conservatives take aim at the new administration’s moderate approach to dealing with the group, which is fighting for equal treatment.

Government leaders blamed the assault on hate spread by hardline Muslim groups against the community, saying the violence stemmed from the “dehumanising” depiction of LGBT members.

Oral and anal sex is outlawed in Muslim-majority Malaysia.

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