Transgender prostitutes face abuse in Ivory Coast

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ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — Transgender sex workers in Ivory Coast have been subjected to horrific abuses by the country’s armed forces, including being sodomized with rifles, according to interviews with victims.

In interviews with The Associated Press, victims and local activists say transgender sex workers were regularly stripped and beaten. In the most extreme case, those dressed as women who were discovered to be men during the strip search, were held overnight at military camps and raped with Kalashnikov rifles. Others’ heads were shaved with broken beer bottles.

The accusations by the transgender sex workers come as Ivory Coast’s army is facing greater scrutiny over alleged human rights abuses, including the torture of detainees accused of involvement in recent attacks on military installations.

Human Rights Watch called for the allegations to be investigated.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.