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Transexual Pakistani Update

Posted by bosskitty on August 4, 2007

Jailed same-sex couple appeal to Musharraf

A court on Monday jailed Pakistan’s first publicly acknowledged same-sex couple for three years for perjury – prompting the defendants to ask the president for help.

The couple clutched at each others arms with expressions of disbelief on their faces, but vowed their love would survive the separation.

The couple, who married last year, had approached the Lahore High Court for protection against harassment by Tariq’s relatives. However, the judge accused them of lying about the gender of Raj, 31.

Same-sex marriage case: Transsexual Shumail Raj freed on bail

* Shahzina’s father threatens to ‘teach the couple a lesson’

LAHORE: Shumail Raj, a transsexual who is the centre of same-sex marriage and is sentenced for perjury, was released on bail from the Kot Lakhpat jail on Monday.
The prison authorities let Shumail leave with his mother and brother and the family immediately left for Faisalabad.

The Lahore High Court (LHC) sentenced Shumail to three years of imprisonment on May 28. The prison authorities had confined him to a separate room in the women’s block and had treated him as a woman. His perjury sentence was appealed at the Supreme Court, which allowed him bail. However, even after the bail grant, Shumail was kept in custody because he could not come up with bail bonds. After an 18-day period of being granted bail, his mother was able to take him home.

When approached by reporters, his mother and brother refused to comment. However, Shumail expressed happiness over the release. He said Shahzina’s (counterpart in the same-sex marriage) father was threatening him and asking him to put his act together or else he would “teach the couple a lesson”. He also said that the threats would not stop him from continuing to fight the case, however he demanded police protection.

He alleged that the Kot Lakhpat jail’s administration tortured him mentally by tying him up and locking him in a separate cell.

The case started with Shumail and Shahzina, who got married on September 9, 2006, reporting to the sessions court that Shahzina’s father, Tariq Hussain and a couple of policemen were harassing them. The additional sessions judge (ASJ) ruled in the couple’s favour, however the pestering continued. The couple then appealed to the LHC. When the matter came to LHC, Tariq told the judge that Shumail was a transman, earlier named Nazia, and he had had his breasts and uterus removed. The judge directed for confirmation and Tariq’s allegation proved to be correct.

Related stories and references

    ISLAMABAD, June 28: Supreme Court has suspended 3-year punishment awarded by Lahore High Court to two girls Shumail Raj and Shazia Tariq on their involvement in same sex marriage and issued orders for their release on bail against surety bonds of Rs 50,000 each besides admitting their appeal for regular hearing. Dr Babar Awan appeared on behalf of Shumail Raj and Shazia Tariq. He argued that one could be sentenced to 7 years term if one was charge sheeted or to jail term of 3 months if one was not charge sheeted. The decision given by the judge of Lahore High Court reflects that he indicted them in haste and anger and then awarded punishment. Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan observed it was incomprehensible to him if both were girls then why one of them was sent to male ward and other in female ward.

    This is an interesting development in Islamic Law. The conflict between democratic espoused human rights versus Pakistani Islamic legal system seems to be ongoing. If Islamic culture allows parents to take the law into their own hands, then there is no law. Respect for a constitution based legal system takes second place to religious law in a Theocracy. There may as well be no constitution at all. This is what could happen in America if we don’t open our eyes and protect our constitution from religious interlopers.


    Posted in Arab Nations, civil liberties, civil rights, Fundamentalist, Holy War, Islam, Islamabad, Lahore High Court, Law, Musharraf, Pakistan, Politics, Religion, Shazia Tariq, Shumail Raj, trans-sexuality | 3 Comments »