Three transgender women were allegedly raped by 12 men in Pakistan on the weekend.
The crime reportedly happened in the Umarzai province about 180kms north-west of the Pakistani capital Islamabad.
Trans Action Pakistan reported Strawberry, Mena and Sheerry were gang raped and while police said they had arrested the suspects the women did not see them in the police lockup.
‘The police is behaving strangely and have made us sit in the police station for hours without a reason,’ the group reported on its Facebook page.
‘Also police has refused to conduct DNA test. This so shameful.
‘The DPO (District Police Officer) Charssada said he has no info of (the) incident.’
Trans Action Pakistan also said it had been trolled by people blaming transgender for ‘provoking men’ to rape them.
‘Somebody on this page just informed us that transgender women in Pakistan are raped because they have names like Chocolate and Strawberry and because they adopt names of celebrities which provokes men to rape them,’ one group member posted.
‘I don’t know if I have to cry or laugh?
‘Blaming the rape victim is a common practise in Pakistan.Please remember no one deserves rape. Women with sacred religious names are raped and harassed everyday in this society.
‘Stop blaming the victims and survivors.’
Pakistan was one of the first countries in the world to recognise transgender people as a third gender and counting them on the census.
But there has also been a rise in violence against transgender, which last year forced Pakistan’s National Commission for Human Rights to call for an enquiry into the issue.