‘Hunted Down for Fun’: Discrimination and Violence Against Transgender Women by Nowshera Police

transTrans Action (KP) is a Provincial Alliance of transgender which is working to improve gender identity and gender reassignment equality, rights and inclusion seeks to improve conditions and advance the rights, protection and equality of Tran’s people. We are currently working to address underlying issues of chronic vulnerability and overlooked transgender needs, issues and vulnerabilities and protect their civil political and cultural rights.

With concern and disappointment, we are bringing into the notice of media that and concerned that.

  • Seven Transgender women namely Choti, Diya, Sonia, Nomi, Jagri, Shahzadi and Wafa were arrested by the Cantt Police station and kept in illegal confinement by the Cantt police station from 10 am to 7:30 Pm yesterday on July 14, 2016.
  • They were released after the matter was highlighted in electronic media and civil society organizations and TransAction Alliance notified Directorate of Human Rights and Noor Zaman Khattak (Director) took action and notice.
  • Transgender women were sexually harassed by the police during illegal confinement, they shirts were taken off, and police instructed their hands in their shirts and were continually slapped on their hips and their different body parts were touched forcefully and jokes were made at them.
  • The police staff of the cantt police station regularly raid our living quarters, harass transgender women, ask for sexual favors, take money from them while they return from functions.
  • The SHO Cantt Khalid Asked the transgender community to leave District Nowshera in

24 hours. According to him DPO Nowshera has asked him to clean district Nowshera from “Sin full transgender community”.

  • Same police station has issued written notice on 14-4-2016 asking us to leave our living places and used a very objectionable and transphobic language in the letter and pressurized the property owners to expel transgender community from their living. quarters otherwise they will take action against them. It is important to mention that the transgender community is living in these quarters abiding the legal procedures. (Notice attached).

We have following questions for KP Police Chief :

  • Under which crime/ act these transgender women were kept in kept in illegal confinement by the Cantt police station from 10 am to 7 :30 on July 14, 2016. What were allegations against them and incase there were any allegations or proofs and under what circumstances they were released. Is there any documentation available in relation to arrest and release?
  • Under what powers, authority and law can SHO and DPO ask the transgender community to leave the district without any charge?
  • Can male police officers body search transgender women in front of other males.
  • Can transgender women be locked up with males?
  • Do the police officials have the right to sexually harass transgender women?
  • The Chief Minister Khyber Pakhutkhwa Pervez Khattk has formed a high powered committee for the welfare and protection of transgender community and claims that police will not harass transgender community. Are the action of Nowshera Police not against the claims and promises of the KP Govt? (Notification attached)

We demand the Police Chief to take action and hold relevant police officers accountable for this very shameful misconduct.

”Transgender women suffers multiple forms of abuse at the hands of the police, including degrading and humiliating treatment, such as being forced to strip and being paraded around the police station, being forced to dance for officers, sexual humiliation, verbal taunts and intimidation,. “The physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and persecution that transgender women face by the hands of police must end” Says Paro Vice President of TransAction Alliance, Khyber Pakhtukhwa

“No one – regardless of his or her gender identity – deserves to be arrested, harassed or tortured . Government of Pakistan government has a duty to protect all of its residents, including groups who face popular disapproval, from brutal police behavior and the application of an unfair law. The government also should work to protect transgender individuals, a particularly vulnerable group, from police abuse and violence, and investigate allegations of police brutality and abuse.” Says Qamar Naseem, Program Coordinator Blue Veins and a transgender rights activist.

“No One is above the law. We will  ensure proper monitoring of police behavior and will hold those found guilty accountable for their actions, and make sure that vulnerable populations, such as transgenders, have access to mechanisms of redress without fear of retribution” Noor Zaman Khattak, Director Human Rights, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

Under international law, Pakistan has an obligation to ensure the protection of its residents from arbitrary arrest or detention. Criminalizing an individual’s gender expression and identity violates the right to non-discrimination, equality before the law, free expression, personal autonomy, physical integrity, and privacy” Says Taimur Kamal Coordinator Pakhtunkhwa Civil Society Network

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