Transgender rape victims appeal for justice

Say no-one is ready to address grievances as they are treated as sex object


Sehrish Wasif July 30, 2016
Talking to The Express Tribune, She-male Association for Fundamental Rights (Safar) founder Nadeem said all the transgender persons across the country are vulnerable to rape, murder and other such evil acts just because of absence of their rights. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Transgender persons are sex objects so how could they be raped. This is what we heard in response to our case plea a few days ago, said three transgender women, who were allegedly raped in Faisalabad.

These three transgender women have come to Islamabad to take refuge after being denied justice and losing all their savings, shelter and source of earning. They claimed that they are continuously being harassed by the accused, who is now threatening to throw acid on them.

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“Even the police are not with us, said Nasima*,” one of the transgender women.

“We are appealing to the prime minister of Pakistan, Lahore High Court chief Justice and chief justice of Pakistan for justice; after all we are also human beings, citizen of this country and now a victim of rape and torture, ”she said.

Sharing the details, she said when they went for lodging the first information report (FIR) the police instead of helping them, made fun of them and asked for taking pictures with them. Nasima said one of the police officials said to them, “You people have been raped not murdered; it is not any unusual thing that happened to you people, so relax.”

Later when she went to a hospital to undergo a medical examination to prove that she had been raped a doctor there suggested her to stop pursuing this issue rather getting into more trouble.

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“We are helpless, scared, shattered but not without hope,” she said.

Nasima, who was born in Faisalabad, had to face a lot of criticism from her family because of her being a ‘transgender’. “My parents used to call me ‘Khusra’ when I was too young and even unaware of this term,” she said. After being ignored by the parents she did her FSc and diploma in textile designing and started working at various restaurants and offices to earn a living.

“But people did not accept me. They used to taunt me with various indecent names and a time came when I could not take it anymore and decided to join the transgender community,” she said.

“When even my parents refused to accept me then how I could expect others?” she asked.

Nazia* another transgender woman said, “I was raped just because I am a transgender. The person who raped me knew that no one would hear my plea just because our bodies are considered a public property or a sex object.”

She was also being ignored by her parents and just to make both ends meet, she resorted to professional dancing, which has now become her passion.

“After this rape episode, we have left everything behind and have come to Islamabad, seeking justice and asylum while hoping for starting a new life through earning with respect and dignity,” she said.

Talking to The Express Tribune, She-male Association for Fundamental Rights (Safar) founder Nadeem said all the transgender persons across the country are vulnerable to rape, murder and other such evil acts just because of absence of their rights.

“It is estimated that currently there are 40,00,000 to 50,00,000 transgender in Pakistan. These people are deprived of their basic right to health education and justice,” he added.

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According to the Forum for Dignity Initiative (FDI) Executive Director Uzma Yaqoob, nearly 100 transgender were murdered and raped during last one year. aOut of them, the highest number of murder cases was reported in the K-P where 46 transgender were killed in the last one year. “Majority of these cases were reported in Peshawar and Mardan, followed by Islamabad and Rawalpindi where 11 such cases have been reported so far,” she said.

(names have been changed to protect privacy)

Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2016.

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