The bi-weekly Da Ware Tijd newspaper reported that two gay men, reportedly from Guyana, were assaulted by three police officers close to a police station in the city.
The story in the newspaper is accompanied by a full face picture of a heavy made up man dressed in female clothing and wearing a wig.
“They were kicked and slapped, ordered to strip and then beaten with batons and a cricket bat,” the paper reported, adding that the men claim that the abuse by police had become the norm.
“Police regularly hold raids to ‘clear’ the area of transgenders. And it’s usually inhumane and degrading,” the paper reported with the sex workers saying they have been keeping mum for fear of reprisal.
“But we kept our mouths shut for far too long. Thing will only get worse if we do not speak up,” they told the newspaper.
In a statement on Thursday, the non-government organisation, Foundation Loving Hands, said it “is not the first time police officers mistreated the gay sex workers.
“We have spoken to officers at the Keizerstraat station about this on June 26 of this year,” the Foundation said, noting that one female officer has made it a habit of slapping the gay sex workers around and often orders them to show their private parts “so people can see what gender they are”.
It said the sex workers are regularly hauled into the station and held for hours without reason and are never taken seriously when they try to file reports about beatings and rapes.