A 34-year-old transgender woman has died from injuries sustained following an attack at a bus stop in the Eurasian country of Georgia.
The victim, Zizi Shekeladze had been hospitalized in the capital city of Tbilisi since October 15, after the suspect Giorgi Murjikneli and possibly one other man, allegedly hit Shekeladze repeatedly with a metal bar and cut her throat, reports Gay Star News.
Georgia’s Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) rallied just after the incident and demanded that the attackers be held accountable for hate crimes.
Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili said at the time he would have to seek further evidence in order to determine if Shekeladze’s attack was hate-based.
“Unfortunately, in most cases, hate crimes are not taken into consideration during investigations…what is troubling is how ambiguous and incompetent the investigative methods are when dealing with a case like this,” Nanuashvili said in a statement.
Conservative views and Orthodox religious beliefs are said to be the reason why the transgender community in that country is being targeted.
Two years ago, a 23-year-old transgender woman Sabi Beriani was murdered in her apartment, then set on fire. The court ruled that her attacker was not guilty, but sentenced him to four years in prison for a previous transgender hate-crime.
“My transgender friends, please be careful,” said Shekeladze’s friend Eka Jamagidze. “I loved you very much and I do not want your loss. I hope that the prosecutors will be on the right trail.”
The suspect is scheduled to appear at the preliminary hearing scheduled to convene in early December.