Sunday, 4 October 2009

Transvestite Murder Prompts Accusation

Albanian Eagle V3Image by morgantj via Flickr

By Besar Likmeta

The Alliance Against Discrimination towards LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders) is accusing Albanian police of lacking commitment to solving the murder of a transvestite on Saturday.

The victim, 38-year-old Petrit Lucaj, also known as Kristina, was stabbed to death on Abdi Toptani Street, only a few metres away from the Interior Ministry.

The victim, who media reports say had previously been arrested for prostitution, was stabbed in the neck in an abandoned building and died en route to Tirana’s hospital due to blood loss.

“We call on authorities to quickly shed light on this murder, which happened in front of the eyes of the police and in the heart of the capital,” the rights group said in a statement.

“It’s intolerable that though the [LGBT] community is always in front of the police [eyes], nothing is done to protect them from abuse, and now murder,” the statement added.

Albania's state police spokesperson was not immediately reachable for comment on Monday.

It is not clear if the murder was a hate crime or had another motives. Police sources say that a number of people, known to frequent the area, have been questioned.
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