Alisha was treated outside a lavatory – shame on you, Peshawar

Published: May 25, 2016

The Janaza of Transgender Actvist Alesha will be offered at House of Mr.Qamar Naseem of Blue Veins at 50 A OPF Colony Budhni Road Doran Pur at 6: 00 Pm Sharp. This will be the first ever janaza od Transgender offered publically in Khyber Pakahtunkhwa. Even after leaving this world. Alesha is breaking another myths about the funerals of Transgender persons. PHOTO: TRANS ACTION KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA

Like any other people, all the transgender community wants is to live with dignity. But in Pakistan, dignity for this sexual minority is almost impossible to find. From birth to their death beds, they are ostracised as if they are the bearers of some invisible disease. Forced to live with their own communities, forced to take menial jobs or to beg on the streets, forced to put up with mental and physical abuse, forced to deal with sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and rape, from their fellow citizens or even those tasked with protecting them, the transgender people of Pakistan are constantly swimming against the tidal waves, and we ignore their plight, because pretending they are invisible is easy.

In a recent heartbreaking case, Alisha, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Trans Action Alliance coordinator was shot six times on a Sunday in different parts of her body. While details are still emerging, some reports suggest this was a hate crime, while others claim it was the act of a criminal gang that exploits the community to shoot pornographic videos. One can imagine that Alisha was shot because she resisted.

Let’s hope that the K-P government looks into this case and brings the gang to justice, but for a government that until recently believed in negotiating with the Taliban while minority groups burned, what chance does the transgender community have?

For any other Pakistani, getting horrifically shot six times would be bad enough, but for Alisha, the nightmare continued at the hospital. According to a report on The Express Tribune, while in critical condition at the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, she was kept waiting for an hour while the authorities debated on whether she belonged in the women or men’s ward. Finally, after protests from the patients, she was shift to the men’s, where incredibly enough, she was treated in front of the lavatory, as far away from the other patients as possible.

What did she do to be treated like this even when dying? She was born differently than the other patients, but is that a crime? Did it make her less human?

The details on the Trans Action Facebook page are even more disturbing.

It is disturbing that even the employees of a hospital cannot treat transgender people with respect. It is shocking that even when there to support a friend suffering from gunshot wounds, the transgender community suffered from sexual harassment at the hands of the hospital staff.

Eventually, Alesha died at the hospital. Trans Action Khyber Pakhtunkhwa says it is because she didn’t receive the treatment she needed on time. All she wanted to do was live her life in peace.

All photos: Screenshots

Do you think that Alisha's death was a consequence of staff negligence?

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Noman Ansari

Noman Ansari

The author is the editor-in-chief of IGN Pakistan, and has been reviewing films and writing opinion pieces for The Express Tribune as well as Dawn for five years. He tweets as @Pugnate (twitter.com/Pugnate)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Sidra

    Couldn’t expect anything more than this conservative, callous and self-indulging society. Human life’s worth is measured in terms of appearance, sexuality, religion, wealth and so on. Wish Alisha could have been treated as a plain human regardless of her sexuality. I being a health professional myself feel so disgusted by the inhumane treatment of people by health care providers. These healthcare professionals who are supposed to serve humanity indiscriminately rather work to reinforce inequity, inequality and unfair treatment of patients.They are rather a curse to humanity…Shame on you all who fail to recognize the sanctity of “human life” and fail to perform the duties that you have been entrusted with. RIP dear Alisha!Recommend

  • Maqsood

    Human dignity is more important than narrowly minded social values. Not only Peshawar but we all should be ashamed. May Alisha rest in peace and may the higher authority give us the courage to stand up and challenge the existing value system.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    Just to be clear, the blog title wasn’t mine.Recommend

  • Mahmud Majeed

    There was negligence but Elisha died of serious internal injury after irreparable bullet wound and severe shock syndrome.Recommend

  • vinsin

    And what the city has done? Do they support or oppose such treatment?Recommend

  • vinsin

    Did you protest?Recommend

  • Hassaan Khalid

    There is no such thing as a Third gender, it’s not a real thing… people are either men or women, the third thing wouldn’t be a gender, rather it would be a physical disfigurement, disease or a disorder (mental or physical).. on the other hand understanding this fact is very important that a Human is a Human.. rejection on basis of unique condition or special need, or gender confusion is extremely offensive and unacceptable. Though this may have been negligence, it also could have been a lack of resources, or just the most basic insularity of the Peshawari People.Recommend

  • 19640909rk .
  • Sam

    This is not a hate speech, but reality check. When entire community is mistreated by society then we should be surprised when things like this happen.Recommend

  • Asad

    This is indeed a very sad incident, but how can you blame the whole city?
    You act like western media who blame Muslims and Islam for the act done by few.!Recommend

  • BazBach

    Will you feel the same if God forbids your male sexual partner, pictured with you, is treated this way in hospital?Recommend

  • Faiz Qadri

    Just focus on what happened? ???? Don’t try to be a politician by focusing on unnecessary things. ….Recommend

  • PJ

    And, since, when did hospital authorities paid any attention
    to protesting patients? These “protesters” are lucky enough
    to be seen by a doctor, let alone be admitted in a hospital.
    The staff, if they believe in the Hippocratic Oath, should have
    told the “protesters” to bear it, or pack up and leave. Go somewhere
    else. But the doctors in the Land of the Pure don’t even know what
    a Hippocratic Oath is. Basically, it’s them, and their egos, playing God.
    Or, they are worried about the extremists, religious bigots, fanatics, mullahs….
    Take your pick.Recommend

  • Laeeq Durrani

    Noman , you are as much of an opportunist as much as the guy who asked for their contact details & wanted to abuse them. Your ignorance on PESHAWAR & Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa makes me cringe. You SIR, are nothing better than just another face amongst the jeering crowd which taunts & enjoys the show when Transvestites perform in a CIRCUS in ANY CITY OF PAKISTAN. You, Sir, are out of your depth to be commenting on such a serious matter & conveniently choose the occasion of the death of a “PERSON” to ooze venom & point scores at an Entire City – Province. It shows your need for the 10 minutes of fame & in doing so, you have showed absolute disregard to the dead. Recommend

  • Dreamer

    Where is the champion of New Peshawar? Where are his claims about Lady Reading Hospital and the rest in KP?Recommend

  • mikeorgan1955

    Have the city authorities taken any action or has anyone yet started an investigation of this incident. If not why not. In any civilized society there should have been no question of what ward was used she/he should have been treated and then put in an ICU for post operative care at which point they could then debate the ward choice. Its perfectly obvious that they didn’t want to treat this patient and were happy for him to die before they could. Shame on the Hospital shame on the staff and someone should be prosecuted for neglect.Recommend

  • Usman Masood

    This is horrifying, if same happens with any big political shot you can imagine the protocol and staff brilliant management to make necessary hygiene and space, but unfortunately Alisha was not a human.Recommend

  • Kartoos Khan

    Yup there is no third gender. We all are born as a man or woman. People supporting transgenders can spend some money to fix their physical and mental related problems/disorders, i haven’t seen any NGO working for transgenders disorders either to make them totally man or a woman. They would work for transgenders to keep doing mujray and be the source of lust and enjoyment for desperate men.Recommend

  • Jamshed Baloch

    Is there any trace of humanity left in us humansRecommend

  • Jarri Najam

    Try treating a patient while every patient around you is creating a scene. They could not ask all other patients to leave. Be practical. This has nothing to do with the doctors or their egos. And how the hell do religious extremists come into this discussion? This is a societal issue. Trying to portray it as a Peshawar issue is preposterous.Recommend

  • Jarri Najam

    What does this have to do with the claims of a new Peshawar or LRH? This is a societal issue where people do no accept transgenders at the same school, office, etc. A gov that has spent 3 years in power while dealing with terrorism and other issues is expected to change people’s thinking about transgenders in that time? Do you think the outcome would have been different in a Lahore gov hospital? Easy to make this about politics thanks to the extremely biased blog post.Recommend

  • Kamran

    than why dont you do something about it, they are titling your blog about a societal injustice and converting this issue into politicsRecommend

  • Maria ali

    I think it would be fair to judge imran khan for that . This issue of transgender is a societal issue. I think pakistani people are not mature enough in accepting there status as an individual .
    It would take alot of years to change the typical mentalities of pakistanis. KP govt should take a strict action against this. There should be protection laws made for them avtually thats the only way we cab contribute.Recommend