Thursday, June 27, 2013

Second Kenyan Transperson Wins Legal Case

Sometimes all it takes is one person standing tall, unapologetically living their lives and fighting tooth and nail for their own human rights to empower others to come out of the shadows and do the same.

It appears that is what's happening in Kenya right now.

Alexandra Nthungi  (using femme derivative of old name until I find out the name she goes by) was working in her grocery shop in January 2011 en femme in the town of Thika near the Kenyan capitol of Nairobi when police arrived, arrested her claiming she had assaulted a cis woman and taken to the Thika police Station for questioning about the assault.  Nthungi was stripped nude in front of the media to ostensibly discover her gender identity 

On June 18 Justice Mumbi Ngugi awarded Nthungi Sh200,000 ($2328.20 USD) for having her rights and dignity violated by officers at the Thika Police Station.     

Justice Ngugi stated the police did not have the powers to strip him to ascertain his gender and that the best they could do was to refer him to a medical doctor for assessment. She ruled that by subjecting her to a search, the police had an intention of humiliating Nthungi because she was dressed as a female and it was unlawful to strip her.
She ruled that whatever Nthungi’s choice was in relation to her mode of dressing and regardless of the fact that she perceived herself as a woman, she still retained her inherent worth and dignity to which all humans are entitled.

Of course Audrey Mbugua was pleased about the outcome of Nthungi’s case. “Although we are happy about the judgment, the judge should have compelled the police to offer a public apology. Sometimes it’s not about being compensated with money but being recognised as human.”

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