AI INDEX: AMR 53/009/2000     18 August 2000  

PUBLIC AI Index: AMR 53/09/00

UA 247/00 Possible extrajudicial execution/Fear for safety 18 August 2000

VENEZUELA Dayana (real name Josť Luis Nieves)(Killed)
Transgendered community in Valencia, Carabobo State

On 29 July 2000, Josť Luis Nieves, a transgendered person known as Dayana, was killed in the city of Valencia, Carabobo State, in circumstances that suggest she was the victim of an extrajudicial execution. Following this murder, Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of other members of Valencia's transgendered community, who are reportedly at constant risk of harassment, ill-treatment and arbitrary detention.

According to information received by Amnesty International, on 29 July two men came to Dayana's room at the guest house in Valencia where she lived and fatally shot her. At the time of her murder, she was still suffering from pellet wounds sustained during an earlier shooting by a state police officer.

On 9 August 2000, Pocahontas (real name Ronny Yosmar Aquino) and La Guajira (real name Alexis Medina), two of Dayana's young, transgendered friends, were reportedly detained without a judicial order by Carabobo Police. They were forced to get undressed in the street and severely beaten. They were then held in incommunicado detention and were not allowed access to a lawyer, to medical attention or to their families. Days later, both were freed but Pocahontas was detained again and is now being held at Valencia's Police Headquarters.

At the beginning of July 2000, La Corto Circuito and La Mulera, two other members of Valencia's transgendered community, were detained by police in Valencia for 8 days without a judicial order. During their detention, they were held in extremely poor conditions. They had to sleep on the floor and to buy food as the meals they were given contained worms.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

According to Amnesty International's information, transgendered people are frequently harassed by police in Valencia. Police abuse transgendered people by forcibly cutting their hair and nails. Police sometimes detain them and force them to perform sexual acts in return for release. If they refuse, police will dump them semi-naked at some distance from the city in order to humiliate them

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