The Tragic Reality of Permanent Oppression and Exclusion: The Case of Doski Azad

The murder of Doskî Azad is another reminder to us that the slogan “trans lives matter” isn’t only an empty sentence.


  • Doski Azad’s life was marked by permanent oppression and exclusion, and even her death and the aftermath demonstrated society’s disregard for her identity and dignity
  • The perpetrator of the murder was able to escape without consequence in a society that fails to adequately address and prevent violence against LGBTQIA+ individuals
  • Doski’s passion was beauty and she embodied it, serving as a powerful symbol of courage and pride
  • Urgent action is needed to address and prevent further violence, including pushing for more inclusive and effective law enforcement, creating safe spaces, and promoting education and awareness about gender and sexuality
  • Control of small arms and light weapons is also necessary to prevent further violence in the Kurdistan region of Iraq

Every action that could have been taken to make Doski’s life one of ongoing oppression and exclusion has been taken, and even her passing and the events that followed it demonstrated how strongly society felt the need to degrade her. Whether they were distributing her pre-transition photos or misgendering her in spite of warnings, it appeared as though society was saying, “To murder you would not be sufficient. We’ll also kill you.”

What can be anticipated in a nation where a murderer can carry out such a horrible act and walk free? A nation where her death wasn’t discovered until her family informed the authorities of the location of her body. Why didn’t they call before? What if she had just disappeared into the mountains?

Doski had a passion for aesthetics, and she was a living example of it. She set a wonderful example of bravery and pride. We must take action to track out her killer and create a safe environment for LGBT+ people worldwide in this society. In Kurdistan, freedom entails liberation from misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia as well as from the never-ending battle fought against the bodies of women and gay people. There is no time to waste anymore.

In Bakrajo, an 18-year-old lady was discovered dead just two days earlier, and Dekan Tofiq Ali became the first woman to be buried there with her full name on the hill where scores of other women who had died in honor killings had previously been laid to rest. Although such symbolic improvements are crucial, we also need to work on systemic transformation. We must encourage law enforcement to pay attention to the early warning signs of misogynistic and anti-queer oppression. Effective assistance is required whether the communication is a message, a threat, or an announcement. There must be safe places where individuals can go and stay if necessary.

There are currently very few shelters for women, and those that do exist do not accept transgender and non-binary individuals. Schooling about gender and sexuality has to be given more importance in early education. Even if education is crucial, it is not everything.

Last but not least, it is necessary to improve the management of light and small weaponry in Iraq’s Kurdistan area. Anyone can commit murder because guns are so easy to get and aren’t subject to any restrictions. Legally, politically, educationally, and immediately on a humanitarian level, we must all take action. Before other trans persons who are innocent also fall prey to tribal norms, we must take action on behalf of Doski and all other trans people.


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