Ciało Gisberty - imigrantki z Brazylii, transseksualnej, zakażonej wirusem HIV narkomanki, prostytutki i bezdomnej - znaleziono 22 lutego na opuszczonej budowli w Oporto. Do jej morderstwa przyznało się 14 nastolatków w wieku od 10 do 16 lat, w większości pochodzących z domu opieki.
To nie był pierwszy raz, kiedy Gisberta padła ofiarą prześladowań grup nastolatków. Jedna z nich 19 lutego weszła do niedokończonego i opuszczonego budynku, gdzie kobieta przebywała. Chłopcy związali ją i brutalnie pobili, kopiąc i uderzając kijami i kamieniami. Grupa przyznała się także do gwałcenia kijem Gisberty i pozostawania jej na miejscu. Na jej ciele były ślady oparzeń od papierosów. 20 i 21 lutego mordercy wrócili na miejsce i ponownie się nad nią znęcali. O świcie 22 lutego wrzucili jej ciało do kanału, żeby ukryć morderstwo. Najprawdopodobniej Gisberta wtedy jeszcze żyła.
Media portugalskie przedstawiły sprawę jako morderstwo transwestyty, zaznaczając jej status bezdomnej, narkomanki, zakażonej wirusem HIV prostytutki, omijając fakt, iż powodem zbrodni była nienawiść do osoby transseksualnej.
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na podstawie transofobii
, a nie tylko kolejny, smutny przypadek.
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We have just known that Gisberta, Brazilian immigrant, transsexual, HIV positive, drug user, sex worker and homeless was found dead on the 22th of February in an unfinished building in the city of Oporto and that the crime was confessed by a group of 14 boys, aged from 10 to 16 years old, most of them coming from a child protection institution.
We were also informed that the victim had a deeply fragile health condition and that she was frequently chased by these boys, with insults and harassment. That on the 19th, a group of these boys entered the unfinished and abandoned building where Gisberta was staying, tied her up, gagged and assaulted her with extreme violence, kicking her, and beating her up with sticks and stones. That the group also confessed to have introduced sticks in Gisberta's anus, whose body presented great injuries and have abandoned her at the scene. That her body presents also cigarette burning marks. That on the 20th and 21st, they have returned to the scene and repeated the aggressions. That by dawn, from the 21st to 22nd, they finally threw her to the pit, attempting to hide the crime. That the autopsy will clarify if she was still alive, since her body was not floating, yet submerged in the bottom of the pit, indicating that she died drowned.
This case was widely spread by the Portuguese media on the 23rd and 24th in a biased and erroneous way. While some of the Portuguese media mentioned the murder of a "transvestite", most of them only mentioned her "homeless" or "homeless, sex worker, drug addict" condition. Gisberta was, also in some media, called Gisberto, her (masculine) legal name.
According with this omission, and even before any details about the murder or about the identity and personal characteristics of the victim were known, many newspapers, in opinion columns, printed articles from opinion-makers (already known in Portugal for their personal opposition to LGBT rights), defending that this couldn't be considered as a "hate crime" and that it wouldn't be legitimate to consider any connection with Gisberta's transsexuality among the motivations to the crime. Usually, the arguments were about the underage of most aggressors.
We have also known that at the same time the press releases of the Portuguese LGBT associations, clarifying the "transsexuality" and victims identity, demanding legal and social measures against discriminations and protection against hate crimes motivated by gender identity, sexual orientation, social condition, disease or national origin were, and still are, being ignored by the media, though it was vaguely mentioned a solidarity vigilance (a citizen's initiative supported by the LGBT associations) on the 24th evening, but, once again, the media ignored the arguments of the associations and their request that victim's transsexuality to be mentioned, as well as transphobic discrimination as one of the probable crime motivations. It becomes clear that by avoiding mentioning "hate crime" using the argument of the aggressors' underage, with the exception of a few politicians that expressed their personal opinion, no Portuguese political party as such took a stand nor condemned this crime. The only reaction from the Government came from the minister responsible for this underage institution, that simply stated "the feeling of shock", without any more words or comments and demanded an inquiry to the institution responsible for the aggressors. These aggressors, with the exception of a 16 year-old boy, who has been made criminally responsible and who is already in preventive detention, were sent back to the institution and are in a semi-liberty regime. No other measure is known to have been taken towards the aggressors.
Psychological support for the 10 year-old boys, for example?
- We find strange that no photo of the victim was printed in most newspapers. The media and the opinion-makers focused the "shock" of the crime because of the aggressors' age, and not with the death of a citizen. That they gave voice to insinuations by the responsible priest for the underage institution, who said publicly that a boy from the institution was being "abused" by a paedophile and this would be a "extenuating circumstance".
These declarations didn't lead to the publication of any reaction. Contrary to the current praxis, the data revealed on the 24th about the victim's sexual harassment, as well as the possibility of Gisberta being still alive when she was thrown at the pit, were only printed by an Oporto's newspaper.
That only four days after the crime was denounced, a sudden media silence about it is almost absolute.
Facing a terrible murder that configures as a most likely hate crime, facing tendentious omissions of the sexual and transphobic component of the crime, facing an apparent media and political attempt of de-valorising the crime itself, facing the omission of the "hate" component in the death of a person that accumulated so many social exclusions, facing the attempts to make the victim accountable for the situation, and publicly silencing this case, we come this way to express:
our complete solidarity with the victim and the Portuguese activists that are trying to clear the facts and honour the memory of Gisberta and demanding preventive and fighting measures against discrimination, without excluding protective legislation against transphobic, lesbophobic, homophobic and biphobic discrimination and violence;
our demand of respect for the positions defended by the same activists and implementation of the measures that they have been defending as urgent;
our complete incomprehension of the way the Portuguese political actors and the media are dealing with the crime, of the manipulation of the facts and the absence of adequate answers to the described situation.
A situation that, being confirmed, represents a total disrespect for the most elementary Human Rights, that cannot be qualified only as unacceptable in a country of the European Union, in the XXI century.
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