The Thai authorities have been accused of ignoring a pattern of gruesome murders of lesbians and gender variant women – those who identify as ‘toms’ – between 2006 and 2012.
Some of the victims were as young as seventeen. In addition to being stabbed multiple times, suffocated, strangled, or shot to death, many of the lesbians and toms had also been raped.
In two cases of double homicides, lesbian couples were killed by men who objected to their relationship and felt rebuffed when their attempts at coercing one partner into a heterosexual relationship failed.
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) this week wrote to the government of Thailand to express its shock and outrage at the way the attacks have been handled and has demanded an immediate investigation into the killings.
It also accused the authorities of dismissing the fifteen murders as “crimes of passion”, “love gone wrong”, or the fault of the victims.
“We strongly urge the Thai Government order an immediate investigation of the killings and rapes of lesbians and toms in Thailand, and release results of this investigation in a press conference that includes LGBT groups and the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand,” said Cary Alan Johnson, Executive Director, IGLHRC
Most recently, a 14-year old girl reported to police that her father began raping her in 2008 when she was 10 years old because she “liked to hang out with toms” and would not listen to his instructions to stay away from them. The girl told her mother who then took her to the police. The father had sole custody of his daughter.
“The killing and rapes of lesbians and toms represents a callous disregard for humanity. The failure of the Thai government to prevent or properly investigate these killings are not only appalling, they are evidence of poor governance and blatant violation of international human rights law,” commented Grace Poore, Program Coordinator for Asia and Pacific Islands, IGLHRC.