Police in Saudi Arabia tortured to death at least two “transgender” men in Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia. According to Pakistani media, both individuals were natives of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), a region in northwestern Pakistan. Allegedly, Saudi police put them in cloth sacks and then beat them to death in prison.
The pair of men have been identified as Amna, 35, from the Mingora area of Swat, and Meeno, 26, of Peshawar. They were among 35 men arrested by Saudi mutaween police, which enforces strict Muslim sharia law in the Oil Kingdom. They were detained by the law enforcement agency for dressing in women’s clothing.
Police raided a building where a “Guru Chela Chalan” gathering was taking place in Khuwaja Sara where the participants were choosing Chelas (students) and their Guru (leader). According to Colonel Fawaz bin Jameel alMaiman, the police spokesman in Riyadh, police had had the site of the meeting under constant surveillance. Women’s clothing and jewellery were also recovered seized at the rest house.
“The majority of the arrested are from K-P and the others from other cities of Pakistan. Torturing humans after throwing them into bags and beating them with sticks is inhumane,” said Qamar Naseem, an advocate for transgender people.
Eleven of those arrested were released after paying a fine of 150,000 riyals each. Twenty-two remain in police custody.
Farzana, a man who presents as a woman, told a Pakistani newspaper that police should take people to court for engaging in transgender activities instead of beating them. ”Ending someone’s life without a court ruling is in itself illegal,” Farzana said. Farzana complained that Saudi Arabia does not allow cross-dressers to make the pilgrimage to Mecca that is required for every Muslim. In 2016, Pakistani reported that the Saudi consul-general in Islamabad gave warning that no visas would be issued to transgender persons wishing to go on pilgrimage to Mecca.