Two Pakistanis identified as cross-dressers have been tortured to death by police in Saudi Arabia, it has been reported.
The victims were among 35 men arrested in the capital city of Riyadh for dressing as women, an offence which has its own branch of law enforcement in Saudi Arabia.
According to The Express Tribune, a Pakistani publication, police raided a rest house for people dressing in women’s clothing after keeping the site under constant surveillance.
The two victims were named as Meeno, 26, and Amna, 35. The police allegedly forced them into sacks and thrashed them with sticks while in prison. Local reports have called them transgender, but we have not been able to verify their gender identity. Qamar Naseem, a Pakistani human rights activist, said that while 11 of those arrested who survived were released after paying a 150 Riyal (£32) fine, 22 of them were still in police custody.
“Torturing humans after throwing them into bags and beating them with sticks is inhumane,” he added.
”No-one is there to save them as the life of a transgender is not of any value to anyone, not even our own government.” Dressing as a woman is also dangerous in Pakistan, where three people were allegedly illegally arrested and tortured in July after failing to pay a fine to police.