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Pakistan

Awami Workers Party condemns brutal attack on trans activist

Friday 27 May 2016, by Farooq Tariq

The Awami Workers Party condemns the attack on Alisha, a transgender activist from Trans Action Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Peshawar on Sunday May 22, which left her fighting for her life. (Tragically Alisha died on Wednesday May 25. There are also allegations that she did not receive good medical treatment initaily because of her trans status See LA Times Ed.)

The attack, another in a series of recent murderous assaults on transgender individuals in the country, is a sign of increasing violence against sexual minorities by rightwing groups in Pakistan. The attack represents an attempt by the proponents of violent patriarchy and conservative morality to suppress the voices of transgender activists who are trying to work for the uplift of their oppressed community. It is an utter shame that while such attacks are happening with impunity in Peshawar, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police is busy with pursuing obscenity cases against the same trans activists who are fighting for their very right to exist.

The AWP calls on the authorities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the culprits responsible and to make arrangements to ensure the protection of the transgender community from these mortal militant threats to their lives.

Beyond this, discrimination and prejudice against transgenders is widespread and deeply embedded in our society and has to be combated on a social, cultural and political level. Progressives of all stripes need to make the protection and organization of the threatened trans community a political, ethical and moral priority and place it at the center of their platform of gender justice. If we are to restore humanity to this broken society it must begin with ensuring the right to life of those most at risk from and bearing the brunt of violence and persecution.