From: Alice Elizabeth Taylor
Officials Silent after Brutal Attack on Trans Woman in Tirana

On November 12, a trans woman from Tirana was attacked by five men in their 20s.

Anxhela was sitting on a bench near the Albanian parliament when she was hit on the back of the head and beaten until she was unconscious. She sustained injuries to her head and face due to the fact that no one intervened or came to help her and the men continued to attack. Once she regained consciousness she went to the Aleanca community centre where staff called an ambulance and the police.

Following treatment at the hospital, she gave a statement to the police but there have been no arrests so far, despite the area being covered in recently upgraded CCTV cameras.

According to the Alliance Against Discrimination LGBT, Anxhela has been attacked “frequently” and has made many visits to the hospital and police. Yet, she and others continue to be put at risk due to a lack of enforcement of laws pertaining to hate crimes, as well as a culture of prejudice against LGBTI individuals.

A press release from Historia Ime notes that “The entire LGBTI movement in Albania as well as those in the Western Balkans and Turkey are outraged by this attack, nonetheless because Anxhela was an active part of the recent international LGBTI conference that took place in Tirana and because she was on the first row of activists who marched at the very first Tirana Dyke March on November 8th.”

They added that despite the pleas of LGBTI organisations and activists for more than 10 years to help Anxhela with housing and other types of support, Albanian authorities (central and local) have constantly ignored such demands. As such, Anxhela is extremely vulnerable to the discrimination and violence of strangers.

The human rights news platform calls on authorities to find the perpetrators of the crime and to treat the case with the utmost seriousness. In addition to this, they demand to meet Mayor of Tirana Erion Veliaj to discuss concrete measures to ensure Anxhela, and others’ needs are met.

“We remind the Albanian authorities that the right to housing and an adequate standard of living is a basic human right,” they said.

The Swedish Embassy in Tirana has condemned the “horrific” attack, called for justice, and expressed their “unwavering support” for Anxhela and the whole LGBT community.

The Mayor, the police, and other politicians have so far refused to publicly comment on the crime, or respond to the request of Historia Ime.