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Gender and sexuality policed with threats and violence

Online harassment of women HRDs and lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ+) activists is common across the region, but such persecution is particularly acute in Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

Despite Pakistan’s Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, organised criminal gangs have continued to target transgender HRDs. In January, HRD Sharma suffered a gang rape after facing pressure to stop her activism. In November, another trans HRD suffered a similar attack, which the perpetrators filmed and shared online; the activist who gave the HRD refuge after the attack was subsequently also attacked and raped, and images of her attack were also shared online. After facing pressure to stop her activism, an activist known as ‘Sonia’ was also shot and injured in Pakistan in January.

In Indonesia, policemen raided beauty salons in Aceh in January, detaining 12 trans rights activists and forcing them to publicly undress and have their hair cut.[1]


[1] Front Line Defenders, Global Analysis 2018, 7 January 2019, available at