Khina ZakharovaAge 21 (born 28 Jul 2001)
27 Feb 2023
Smallingerland, Friesland (Netherlands)
Khina died by suicide in a Dutch refugee camp. She was a Russian refugee who had applied for asylum in the Netherlands and had complained of long waiting times to access HRT.
The Twitter account of the Feminist Resistance Movement (a grassroots anti-war organisation originated in Russia) published tragic news about the death of a transgender girl from Russia who committed suicide in a refugee camp in the city of Drachten in the Netherlands.
A transgender girl from Russia committed suicide in a refugee camp in the Netherlands. Khina Zakharova applied for asylum in the Netherlands in December 2022. Earlier, the girl complained that there were serious problems with the queue for hormone replacement therapy in the country.
Khina Zakharova applied for asylum in the country in December 2022. At the time of the application, she needed hormone replacement therapy, the queue for which in the Netherlands, as Khina was informed, was long, with the approximate waiting period of over two years. The burden of accumulated problems turned out to be unbearable for Khina, resulting in tragedy.
This account by someone who knew Khina is telling:
When there is not enough protection, where are you?
Monday evening February 27, 9.30 pm I received a report from a resident of one of the lhbtiq+ units in azc Drachten. Just before that, Khina had been found in the bathroom of her unit in her azc where she had committed suicide. For LGBT Asylum Support, this is a second trans asylum seeker who died by suicide in an azc within a month and a half.
Khina applied for asylum in the Netherlands as a trans woman in December 2022. During her flight to the Netherlands, a month before, she contacted her after KLM refused to let her board in Belgrade despite all the necessary papers. Nevertheless, a month later she managed to apply for asylum in the Netherlands and thus for protection. She announced herself with a cheerful message, characteristic of how she was: 'Hello, I'm in open camp Drachter, NL. Registration interview complete. I was in closed camp Schiphol. Meeting with my lawyer be in this Friday. It's Khina Zakharova.'
I then saw her in her azc, just as cheerful: 'Today is my second day in open camp. Meeting new people) People here is very good. It was an interesting experience.' But there were many problems under the skin. Not only the waiting times of the IND, which went from 6 to 15 months, but also that she begged in vain for help from agencies such as obtaining hormones and did not receive it. 'I've been at camp for a month now, but the GZA still hasn't given me a prescription for hormones.
This worries me very much, since I only take hormones that I brought from Russia, but their quality is unknown to me.' But also mental help: 'I spoke with a psychotherapist from GZA. He said that he needed time to contact the hospital in Groningen. They have a team that deals with transgender people.
That mental help did not come, despite all her pleas to the GZA, but also to the national suicide prevention hotline 0800 113 to which we always refer. 'This whole situation with the expectation of a solution to my question puts a lot of pressure on me psychologically.' Because providing protection also means access to medical care.
Early this morning I got white roses and made her a message with a mourning photo for the more than 700 lhbtiq + asylum seekers that we assist as best as possible. A group, like Khina, who not only wait endlessly but are also in need, unable to process their traumas in overcrowded AZCs. A mourning photo with a much too young woman, 21 years old, who looks at you with a guitar. Who sent me hearts on my messages to finally belong to a family that understands and accepts her unconditionally. Numb with grief, today we called her best friend in her azc in Russian with her divorced parents in Russia, discussed Dela's checklist together with the COA. I spoke to Russian-speaking friends in her asylum seekers centre, her new friends, her new, proud LGBTIQ+ family. Then, with all the LGBTIQ+ residents at her unit, to commemorate her for a minute, or maybe it was longer. Wherever she is now.
Rest in peace Kina.
Khina's Github and MyAnimeList profiles are https://github.com/KhinaZakharova and https://myanimelist.net/profile/Khina_Zakharova. Her Twitter account - https://twitter.com/Khina_Zakharova has however been deleted.