Opinion: Everything Possible Had Been Done to Make Doski Azad’s Life a Life of Permanent Oppression and Exclusion

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


Everything possible has been done to not only make Doski’s life a life of permanent oppression and exclusion, but even her death and the aftermath of her death have shown that society has an enormous interest in disrespecting her. Whether it was people misgendering her, although we repeatedly told them not to do so, whether it was people deadnaming her or sharing her pre-transition pictures: on every level, it was like society said: “it’s not enough for you to be killed. We will kill you as well.”

What else can you expect from a country where a killer can come in, commit this heinous crime, and leave freely? In a country where her death was only to be found out after her relatives called the police and said where her body is. What if they didn’t call? Would she just have perished somewhere in the mountains?

Doski’s passion was beauty and from the inside and the outside, she embodied the beauty of being oneself. She’s a living example of bravery and pride. We should stand up and work to find her perpetrator and to make this society a safe space for LGBTQIA+ folks all over the world. Freedom in Kurdistan means freedom from homophobia and transphobia, freedom from misogyny, and the endless war that is fought on female and queer bodies. No, there’s no time to lose anymore.

Just two days ago (as of February 4, 2022) a young 18-year-old woman was found in Bakrajo after family members killed her. Dekan Tofiq Ali now is the first woman to be buried with her full name on the very hill where dozens of women who have become victims of honor killings are buried. Such symbolic changes are good, but we have to bring about systematic change. We have to push law enforcement to take the first signs of anti-queer and misogynistic oppression seriously. Even if it’s “only” a message, a threat, or an announcement: there must be effective help. There must be safe spaces where people can effectively go and stay if they’re in need.

So far, there are only a few shelters for women, and they’re not inclusive to trans and non-binary people. There needs to be much more attention making in early education about gender and sexuality. Education is not everything, but it is a lot.

Finally, there needs to be much more effective control of small arms and light weapons in the KRI. The fact that so many people obtain weapons without regulations basically enables each and every one to be a murderer. On all levels, we need to act: on the legal level, on the political level, on the educational level, and on the imminent humanitarian level. We need to act, for Doski, and all the other innocent trans people out there, before they too become victims of tribal values.


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