A series of videos that show three transgender women being beaten and harassed in a bar in Benin’s economic capital Cotonou on 1 May 2021 have gone viral on social media.
The men attacked the transgender with bottles then humiliated them by forcing them to strip naked.
The violence was captured on cell phone video and uploaded to social media.
It caught the attention of an NGO and LGBT+ advocacy group Hirondelle Club Benin and they shared it on Twitter to spread awareness about violence against transgenders.
The video caption reads: “We have just denounced an umpteenth aggression against people LGBTQi in Benin a few days before the celebration of May 17. We condemn these acts with the last rigor. We will come back for more details.”
In the video, which was filmed at ‘Sunset bar’ the transgender were being subjected to brutal humiliation in front of a rowdy crowd of men, who force them to strip naked and expose their genitals.
The victims are also slapped and screamed at as the harassers make them stand in a line and take videos of their naked bodies..
One of the victims told The Observers that the attack was planned.
One of the victims said: “My man knew I was transgender and asked me to invite my transgender friends. When we arrived, he asked me to go outside.
“Once we managed to get outside to help our friend, they began attacking the three of us. There were about 200 men there, and they forced us to strip naked while they laughed and filmed up. It was humiliating.”
The victims were able to take shelter within Hirondelle Club Benin. But they said the “whole nation”, including “our families and bosses”, viewed the video of the attack after it went viral on social media.
“We’ll never be able to find a job again,” one of the victims said. “Everyone here is against us. Even young children in the street have been [pointing] fingers at us.”
No arrests have been made.
Watch the video below.
Nous venons dénoncer une fois encore une énième agression contre les personnes LGBTQI au Bénin à quelques jours de la célébration du 17 Mai.Nous condamnons ces actes avec la dernière rigueur.Nous vous reviendrons pour plus de détails. @EgidesAlliance @FrontlinDefend @ISDAOSankofa pic.twitter.com/CoPQ80HSzC
— Hirondelle Club Benin (@HirondelleBenin) May 1, 2021