Pakistani transgender Julie who is a rights activist famous for speaking boldly against the social evils has been arrested by Islamabad police allegedly in a fabricated case. According to social media reports, police arrested Julie because she spoke for another transgender Rosy who was tortured. Consequently, the group involved in the mistreatment of Rosy made a fabricated case against Julie and sent her to jail.
Speaking about Julie’s arrest, a transgender named Farah told a local news outlet, “Our fellow transgender, Rosy, was tortured and beaten. Julie, Sumaira, and I raised our voice against why she (Rosy) was beaten. So the group who tortured Rosy registered a case against us.”— Eimaan (@bxtchstoppls) August 13, 2020
Activists Speaking for Transgender Julie
It was inevitable for Pakistani rights activists to stand for Julie who herself face brutal torture back in 2016 and spoke against it in a video where she questioned, “if transgenders were the children of lesser God”. After the ordeal of facing violence at the hand of an extortionist Jajja Butt, Julie frequently started voicing her opinions not only on the state of the Transgender community in Pakistan but also about the society as a whole.
Maria Malik a political worker from a left leaning party opined Julie was a strong critique of systemetic injustices in Pakistan. Hence, she condemned her arrest.
Strongly condemn Julie’s arrest on a fabricated FIR. She has been the voice of transgender rights & has unpacked systemic societal injustices through her powerful critique and fearlessness. She should be celebrated for her activism, not locked behind bars!#JusticeForJulie pic.twitter.com/9YeVeOCPqH— Maria H. Malik ☭🌷 #EatTheRich (@marriyamalik1) August 13, 2020
It is not simply the arrest of Julie which is disturbing the people but fact that she is being detained with men despite being a trans woman.
Claiming Freedom for Julie on the Eve of Independence Day of Pakistan
For those who are speaking for release of Transgender Julie, it is ironic that she is arrested when 73 Independence Day of Pakistan was around the corner. It is a reminder that despite taking freedom from the English, the oppressed in Pakistan are still struggling hard to get their voices heard and earn their due rights.
They are also asking Minister for Human Rights, Shireen Mizari to take notice of the incident.
State of Transgenders Rights in Pakistan
During the last two decades, the increased activism has made the Pakistan government to take several steps for the rights of Transgenders in Pakistan The most noticeable of these is the Transgenders Rights Bill that guarantees the community, right to education, job, and health facilities, etc. Since then some positive news like first Pakistani Transgender making it to Police has also made headlines.
But, there is still a long way to go since the discrimination against the community is deep-rooted in society. In order to ensure that Transgender Julie and her fellow citizens don’t face unjust persecution, the government does need to go a long way than merely making and implementing the laws.