Doski Azad, a 23-year old transgender woman from the Kurdistan Region in Iraq was brutally murdered by her brother in an "honour" killing. Ask the authorities to bring the murderer to justice, and keep LGBT+ people safe.
On Monday, January 31, 2022, Kurdish police reported the murder of a transgender woman, identified as 23-year-old Doski Azad, in the small village Babûxkê, Mangesh district, within the borders of Duhok, Iraq. Doski was a makeup artist and one of the few publicly out transgender women, being proud of her identity. She was loved and watched by many youth across social media channels, and she was an inspiration and hope for the trans community in the region.
Police reported Doski was open about her transition on social media, which is the motive for her murder, and identified her brother, Chakdar Azad, as her murderer in the preliminary investigations. Media reports and official statements reveal the culprit had lived abroad in an unnamed country in the European Union, allegedly either Germany or Belgium, for 8 years, before finally returning to carry out his plans. Local security agencies have not been transparent in regards to the identity of the suspect. Not only did they not post any pictures of him so the public could assist the investigation, but they have not confirmed in which country he had lived in the past eight years either. Police say they are cooperating with InterPol to find the suspect, but when the media reached out to them, they refused to give any statements on the progression of the case.
Last year, another trans woman known as Misho was also murdered by her brother, but we never got any updates from the government on her case, and we never found out if her murderers were held accountable for their crime. This has caused worry within the activist community that the government is not investigating cases related to LGBT+ hate crime fairly.
[TRIGGER WARNING: The following paragraph describes the murder of Doski Azad in explicit detail]
Doski was trying to build her life by working in a salon in a neighborhood called Masike. Even though she was not living with her family, she received continuous threats from her family and distant relatives from her tribe. A friend of Doski says that her father had once confiscated her passport and ID. Doski had reported the harassment to the police, but they only advised her to "leave the city for her safety.” After being continuously harassed for the last 5-6 years, she was finally murdered in an “honour” killing. Reports show that Doski’s hands were tied, and she had been shot twice, once in the chest, and once in the head. Some claim her body was also mutilated before being thrown in a ditch and left for three days before it was finally discovered, and that only after Doski's family disclosed the place of the incident to the police.
During those three days, Chakdar Azad, Doski’s murderer, fled the country through Turkey.
We demand that the government puts an end to the “honour” killing tradition, find Doski's murderer(s) ASAP and be transparent about Doski's case, as well as investigate hate crimes committed against LGBT+ individuals more seriously and thoroughly, for both the future and past cases.