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HRC Mourns Loss of Transgender Woman Found Dead in Russia

Post submitted by HRC staff with contributions from Javier Cifuentes

HRC was saddened to learn of the brutal murder of Raina Aliev, a 25-year-old transgender woman whose mutilated body was recently found in the North Caucasus region of Russia.

Aliev, who was killed only days after her wedding, faced severe backlash from her family. According to the Daily Mail, her father called for her murder on a local television station.

“Bring him[sic] here and kill him[sic] in front of my eyes,” he said.

Details surrounding the murder are still unknown, but local authorities report that Aliev had reached out for help after receiving multiple death threats.  

Aliev’s death is one of many disturbing tragedies that the international transgender community has mourned recently. Earlier this year, Hande Kader, a prominent LGBTQ activist and transgender woman in Turkey, was found similarly mutilated.

In 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the draconian anti-LGBT propaganda law into effect which had disastrous consequences on the local LGBTQ community. A year after Russia’s anti-LGBTQ law was passed, HRC released a report documenting the tragic and deadly backlash against LGBTQ people in the country.  Additionally, prior to the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, HRC launched the iconic #LoveConquersHate campaign that saw numerous people from around the world stand in solidarity with LGBTQ Russians by posting photos of themselves in HRC’s Russian-language Love Conquers Hate shirt.

Within the U.S., violence against transgender people also remains an urgent crisis. More than 20 transgender people have been killed in the U.S. this year. Last year, HRC and the Trans People of Color Coalition co-published a report on anti-transgender violence, highlighting how racism, anti-transgender stigma and sexism work together to put transgender women of color at risk for murder.

HRC extends its sincere condolences to those mourning the loss of Aliev.