The identity of a trans woman who was tortured and beheaded in Pakistan’s Peshawar is still unidentified. A local morgue refused to take her body and was refused final rites and a burial by government officials.
The woman was found dead on Saturday, with Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Sajjad Khan saying her body had showed signs of torture.
Police and trans activists are still trying to identify the woman who is thought to be from Iqbal Plaza.
Khyber Medical College which has the only morgue in the area, refused to take the woman’s body overnight because it would make their ‘freezers dirty’. Activists had asked them to hold the body overnight before she was to be buried the next day.
‘They [management] have told us that the body is too decomposed and it would make their freezers dirty,’ transgender activist Qamar Naseem told The Express Tribune.
‘We had asked the morgue’s management to keep the body for just one night and they even refused to do that.
‘Not only that, the government contractor has also refused to bury the body.
‘It’s extremely shameful the way a human’s body is being treated’.
The Edhi Foundation – a not-for-profit organization in Pakistan – stepped in to help with the woman’s burial. She was buried on Sunday.
‘Shame on the principal and transphobic administration of Khyber Medical College (KMC) Peahawar who refused to keep the body of a transgender person for one night despite continued requests of civil society, trans community and police,’ advocacy group Trans Action Pakistan wrote on Facebook.
‘What would they do if it was a body of a VIP? Shame on the Govt Contractor who refused to burry the body of a Transgender person (sic).’
Violence against trans people
While Pakistan was one of the first countries to recognise trans people as a ‘third gender’ and earlier this year included them on the census, the community still faces extreme violence.
‘This is the 53rd transgender person killed since 2015 and we have around 300 cases of violence against transgender persons on record including rape, gang rape, kidnapping and torture,’ activist Tamure Kamal said.
Kamal said he held police and officials accountable for the woman’s death, because according to him, they had failed to protect the trans community.
Warning: graphic image
The woman’s body was left on display in the back of a pickup truck, with locals crowding around to look.