People around the world are demanding justice after 22-year-old transgender woman and activist Hande Kader was brutally raped and burned to death in Istanbul, Turkey, earlier this month, reports BuzzFeed News. According to the site, friends of Kader, who was a sex worker and well-known LGBT activist, last saw her getting into a car with a client in Istanbul's Harbiye district. Her body was later found charred and mutilated in the posh neighborhood of Zekeriyaköy and she was identified via prosthetics at the city morgue. Following Kader's graphic murder, LGBT activists and supporters worldwide have been paying tribute to her and calling for justice using the hashtag #HandeKadereSesVer, which translates to "Give voice to Hande Kader."
While homosexuality is not illegal in Turkey, discrimination against the LGBT community is still horrifyingly widespread in the politically unstable nation, where an attempted military coup against the government took place just last month. All of the turmoil led local LGBT organizations to hold a press conference this past Thursday calling for the rights of transgender people in Turkey to be protected and the Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week Committee to release a public statement mourning Kader and demanding a stop to hate crimes. "Hande was a person who raised her voice against hate crimes and encouraged everyone to raise their voices too," read the statement, which encouraged all to speak out against homophobia and transphobia. "The only way to stop hate crimes is to raise our voice together against hatred and hate crimes." In closing, the Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week Committee asked supporters to join them in a march tomorrow, Sunday August 21, from Tünel to Galatasaray, "where we will demand justice for Hande Kader." Thousands are expected to attend. #HandeKadereSesVer