Group calls for transgender protections

May 29, 2009 at 6:21 PM

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras, May 29 (UPI) -- A rights group Friday called on Honduran officials to end what it called an epidemic of violence against transgender people.

Human Rights Watch called on government leaders to investigate cases of abuses and prosecute those responsible. The group also called on Honduran authorities to repeal legal provisions on "public morality" and "public scandal" that enable abuse.

The group said in a reported that there is widespread abuses based on gender identity, including rape, beatings, extortion, and arbitrary detentions by law enforcement officials.

HRW said at least 17 transgender people have been killed in public places in Honduras since 2004. None of the killings has led to a prosecution.

"The police have an obligation to protect people and to investigate violence, no matter who the victims are," said Juliana Cano Nieto, researcher in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch. "The Honduran State is failing miserably on this basic issue of human rights."

The group's 45-page report is titled "'Not Worth a Penny': Human Rights Abuses against Transgender People in Honduras."

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