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The murder last month of a transgender woman in Iraqi Kurdistan by her brother in a so-called honor killing underlines the impunity faced by the LGBT community in Iraq’s Kurdistan region and beyond. Community activists say the government does nothing to protect them and that security officials who are responsible for their safety are among those who endorse violence against them. Zhiar Ali, a leading advocate for the community, was forced to flee to Europe after facing repeated threats. With no laws to protect him and hostility against LGBT people deeply engrained they face an uphill struggle. But they won’t give up.

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