Tragedy

Deprived of urgent treatment by hospital, Pakistani transgender activist dies from gunshot wounds

A young transgender woman in Pakistan succumbed Wednesday to gunshot wounds she suffered over the weekend. The woman, identified by fellow activists only as Alisha, was brought to Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar on Sunday after she was shot several times. However, hospital staff delayed treating Alisha because of an internal disagreement over whether to place her in the men’s or women’s ward, according to people who rushed her to the hospital.

Members of the Trans Action Khyber Pakhtunkhwa advocacy group said that hospital staff told them there was “no place for transgenders” in the hospital as Alisha was moved back and forth between the two wards. Eventually, the group paid for Alisha to be placed in a private room. TAKP posted several updates on its Facebook page over the last few days, raising awareness of Alisha’s plight and sparking outrage. But by Wednesday morning, the group announced Alisha had died from her injuries. Photos posted on Facebook showed mourners at a funeral paying their last respects. Alisha received treatment, but activists said she died because she didn’t get critical urgent care in the moments after being shot.

A spokesperson for the hospital said the delay was caused by staff responding to concerns voiced by other patients.

Details surrounding Alisha’s death are murky. There are some reports that indicate she was shot by a “disgruntled customer.” Others have suggested that the attack on her was the work of a gang that’s been extorting money and intimidating the transgender community in the region. Transgender women are an at-risk group in the conservative Muslim country. According to The Telegraph, transgender women are known as hijras in Pakistan and are considered good luck. Because of that, they’re commonly invited paid to dance and perform at weddings — but they also face discrimination and violence from some conservative Muslims who are known to exploit, intimidate and even attack them.

Read the full story at BuzzFeed.

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