Australia Accepts Malaysian Transsexual As Refugee

Australia accepts Malaysian transsexual as refugee

Posted : Tue, 02 Mar 2010 23:54:11 GMT
By : dpa
Category : Australasia (World)

Sydney—-A Malaysian transsexual has won refugee status in Australia after persuading an immigration review tribunal that she risked persecution if deported, news reports said Wednesday. The 38-year-old Malay, who was born male and underwent sex-change surgery in Thailand, is one of very few people accepted as refugees in Australia because of a sexuality issue.

The woman, whom the tribunal said should remain nameless, arrived last year on a tourist visa and was working as a fruit picker when she was arrested for a visa violation.

“In Malaysia I do not count as a person,” she told the Refugee Review Tribunal. “I do not want to work as a prostitute, and that is the only life for me there.”

According to The Australian newspaper, she told the panel that in her homeland she could only get an identity card by declaring herself a man, and that this would carry the risk of whipping and imprisonment if she continued dressing as a woman.