In a shocking incident in Walvis Bay, Namibia, two men are facing attempted murder charges after allegedly viciously beating and sexually assaulting a transgender woman.
Local media reported that the victim, now in critical condition with a fractured skull, was found unconscious alongside used condoms on dunes near a mall on January 4.
It’s alleged that the men, identified as Shabome Shiaimense (27) and Jonathan Kamfwa (40), brutally and repeatedly beat the victim with an object all over her body and head. She was discovered lying unconscious alongside used condoms on dunes near a mall on 4 January after she was dumped and left for dead.
Stigmatising Victim Blaming Condemned
Members of the LGBTIQ+ community and allies have condemned some media reports that appear to blame the victim for allegedly “misleading” the men about her gender identity in connection to a sexual encounter.
“A transwoman was physically and sexually assaulted by 2 men and the narrative being driven by the newspaper is that ‘she deceived them and they reacted violently.’ With no regard for the woman who experienced SGBV, the newspaper posts a pic of the condom used to violate,” wrote big batty gyal on X.
Shiaimense and Kamfwa appeared in the Walvis Bay Magistrate’s Court on Monday. The case was postponed to 27 March for further investigation and they will remain in custody.
Calls for Justice and Support for Trans Community
“Trans Namibians are one of the most marginalised and vulnerable groups within the community, and have become increasingly at risk,” commented Namibia Equal Rights Movement.
“Justice must be served in this case to protect trans persons from the rise in hate crimes, attributed to the passage of the anti-LGBTQI+ bill,” said the organisation.
“To any trans person who feels hopeless and under threat, know that there is a resilient community you can rely on to help carry you through these difficult moments,” it added.
Namibia recently witnessed intensified queerphobic sentiment and debates on LGBTQ+ rights following a Supreme Court ruling on May 16 2023 that mandated the state to recognise same-sex marriages registered in countries where they are legal.
Lawmakers in September sought to reverse the court’s decision through a bill outlawing all same-sex marriages, raising concerns about the potential erosion of judicial independence and the rule of law. As of now, the bill awaits the signature of President Hage Geingob.