International Women’s Day: UN Committee / Police violence against trans women in Turkey

On International Women’s Day, Intergroup Co-Presidents Ulrike Lunacek and Michael Cashman recall that violence remains a dire reality for lesbian, bisexual and transgender women in Europe and in the world.

International Women's DayUlrike Lunacek MEP was in New York this week to attend the 57th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). She expressed concerns that the final resolution could be watered down by conservative states.

“The unholy alliance between the Vatican, Iran, and other anti-women governments is crystal-clear,” she said. “Hundreds of millions of women and girls are facing violent attacks, going from stupid sexist jokes to physical attacks, gang rapes, and murder.”

“In the European Union, up to one in four women fall victim of violence at least once in their lifetime. The Commission must send a strong message against violence!”

In other developments, activists and lawyers in Turkey reported that police unnecessarily broke into transgender women’s apartments in Istanbul last night, rounding them up and taking them to a police station. The transgender women are sex workers; they were harassed, taken to the hospital, and forced to undergo compulsory tests for sexually-transmitted diseases.

Michael Cashman MEP, Co-President of the LGBT Intergroup, commented: “If Turkey is to take itself seriously as a modern secular democracy, it must stop these arrests and continuous police harassment of trans people. Too many lives have been destroyed within the trans community, and it must stop now. Not next year, not tomorrow—now.”

“The regional and national governments must intervene, and the ongoing constitutional review should at last include the rights of the wider LGBT community.”