Weʼve raised £170 to help fund a prominent figure from the Bangladeshi Hijra community through her asylum seeker application
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- Funded on Thursday, 12th October 2017
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Anonnya Banik is a very well known figure among the Hijra and LGBT+ communities in Bangladesh, and as a Hijra herself, she is an outspoken advocate for her community. Unfortunately, given the increasingly dangerous climate in Bangladesh towards secular and LGBT+ advocates, she has become the target of extremists who threaten her life.
In 2016 Xulhaz Mannan and Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy, gay rights and LGBT+ activists, were murdered in their home. In February 2015 Avijit Roy, a well-known American Bangladeshi blogger was hacked to death on the streets of Dhaka city with witnesses onlooking. Similarly, assailants stormed a well-known café/restaurant in July 2016 and held the patrons and staff hostage for several hours. The assailants, whose main targets were non-Muslims and foreigners, killed 22 people.
While Anonnya has received threats on her life in the past, these have become more serious in light of these recent attacks. As a result she is seeking asylum in a European country (she has asked me to withhold the location) with her partner of 20 years (and husband of 2 years). While she initially continued to speak at events and give interviews to national newspapers, the threats got so overwhelming that she had to remove herself from public eye, despite her continued desire to be a spokesperson for her community.
I initially met Anonnya while conducting research for my dissertation in 2015 and she helped me far more than she ever needed to. She's continually used her position to highlight the plight of those less fortunate than her and has dealt with decades of abuse along the way.
Anonnya reached out to me during the initial stage of her asylum application, and has kept me updated about her journey so far. More recently, she has told me that she is unable to support herself and her husband as the winter season approaches. While authorities have provided her with minimal support, as the months have passed she has used most of her savings and cannot afford to buy some necessities for the coming cold weather (warm clothes, basic bike for transportation, etc). And so we're looking to raise some money to support her through the next few months and keeping our fingers crossed that the asylum process works out in her favour!
Let's band together and help her out!!
For those unfamiliar with the Hijra community, here's a short video interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSX6AH9RKSQ
Updates appear here
Samar Islam started crowdfunding
Leave a message of support
Sep 28, 2017
Sep 21, 2017
I earnestly hope and pray she makes it out. Such a gem of a human being.
Sep 20, 2017
Sep 18, 2017
Best of luck to this lovely lady
Sep 13, 2017
I hope this helps your friend stay safe x
Sep 13, 2017
Let's keep our fingers crossed on that asylum!
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