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'Transgender activist's assault shows dangers LGBT face'
Published:  Sep 13, 2015 4:51 PM
Updated: 4:08 PM

The attack on award-winning transgender activist Nisha Ayub last week, was a reminder of dangers faced by the LGBT community in Malaysia, human rights group Suaram said.

Nisha was assaulted by two men unknown to her on her way to work last Thursday, sustaining injuries to her ankle and leg.

"In such dark times where some quarters think such acts as acceptable, we must stand in solidarity with our friends and stand fast against such act of violence.

"We implore the police force to take swift action against the perpetrators and ensure that those who plot to commit such deplorable acts be dealt with according to the law without any favours or discrimination," Suaram executive director Sevan Doraisamy.

Sevan said the LGBT community must have equal rights and protection under the law, regardless of claims otherwise by Tourism Minister Nazri Abdul Aziz (photo).

Nazri, who was former minister in charge of law, last week said the LGBT community will not be able to lead their lives as they see fit in Malaysia "because it is not allowed in Islam".

"Unless the minister wishes to be perceived as supporting such deplorable acts in Malaysia, we would advise the minister to retract his stance on the matter," Sevan said.

It won't stop me

In a Facebook posting , Nisha (photo) said the attack on Thursday was the first she had faced.

She said the attackers fled after her mother, who saw it through a window at their home started screaming.

"I ran to the left and shouted for help. Everyone came. A Malay auntie came and hugged me, bringing me to the lift. When I reached my floor, I fainted.

"Thank God all the neighbours came and helped me. Another auntie hugged me and brought me to their house," she said.

A police report has been lodged, she said in the posting on Thursday.

The recipient of the Human Rights Watch Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism said while she has assisted in cases of violence before, experiencing it herself has made her "paranoid about things that are actually normal".

"All I can say is time will heal me...You can put me in jail, you can hurt me, you can even kill me but it will never take away my identity as a transgender woman.

"My work as an advocated will never stop until my last breath," she wrote in a posting today.