Over time, we, as humans, are hoping to make this world a better place where everyone can live freely and equally. Hundreds of thousands of NGOs are actively participating in highlighting numerous unjust cases against humanity under the Human Rights Law of the United Nations. Still, we see multiple instances in which humanity is being ridiculed, humiliated, and disrespected based on their caste, color, creed, race, religion, and gender. Living in a Muslim country, Pakistan, I see daily cases where helpless people become the victim of the brutality of people in power, especially the transgender people. They have been raped, abused, assaulted, and even murdered. Unfortunately, they are already outcasted by their parents and Society.
In the constitution of Pakistan, they have recognized as Hijiras or Khawaja Sera or ‘the third gender.’ Transgender people live in their own self-developed communities run by the head called Guru in every city and town. They live in weak economic conditions in these communities and work for their Guru by earning money through dancing on marriage festivals or as sex workers. And the most significant inequality they are facing right now is that the state has no constitution against the rape of transgender or men. Julie Khan, a transwoman, was gang-raped in her native city Faisalabad of province Punjab, for the first time in 2016. When she reported the sexual assault case against the criminals, she was asked to shut her mouth for some monetary compensation. She denied the offer and started raising her voice on social media against the injustice. Police took action and arrested a few of the criminals, but the rest is still breathing freely.
Having been outcasted by her family after the incident, she moved to town Sialkot. To seek an escape from the shame and disgrace, she lived in the transgender community and worked with them. Meanwhile, she was again encountered by another gang, cruelly beaten up, raped, and manhandled throughout the night. She reported the crime and raised her voice through a social media series named ‘naked truth,’ which got a considerable applaud by the public.
Still, nobody raised a voice against the criminals who are sexually assaulting and murdering many transwomen like Julie daily. Julie continued talking about the rights of transwomen and about herself as well. She protested on social media and uploaded several videos where she spoke about the hidden realities of trans communities and Gurus.
Recently, the Guru of her community, Najma from the city, Golra Sharif, attempted murder and was under arrest by the authorities. A friend of Julie, named Rosy, reported the murder case against Guru Najma. Therefore, she was beaten up by the other transwomen for going against the Guru. When Julie raised a voice against her friend Rosy, she got arrested under an allegedly fabricated case on the 10th of august, 2020. Afterward, she has been sent to men’s Adiyala Jail.
According to her lawyer, Hassan Niazi, it’s a life-threatening situation for her as she is being held with the men in the jail where she is not secure, both physically and mentally. The reason why she is still alive is just that she is an internet sensation and a social media activist. Otherwise, she has long been disappeared without getting noticed by the Gurus for going against their community rules and changing the minds of other transwomen for freedom and equality.
In honor of her efforts and to support her voice, the campaign ‘Justice for Julie’ has started since her own community is standing against her. Let’s hope that Julie gets heard and given justice.