Man sentenced to death for the murder of Alisha set free


On May 22, 2016, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Trans Action Alliance Pakistan board member Alishia was shot eight times while returning home from work. She was quickly brought to the ICU ward at the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) by friends.

Upon arrival, the hospital staff refused to admit Alisha claiming they didn’t have a bed in either the men’s or the women’s ward because she was transgender.

A person frantically posted on Trans Action PK Facebook “We have been trying since 9:30 am till now (1:30 PM) to find a bed for Alesha. We were asked to go to the male ward and then to the female ward. Upstairs, downstairs but the Hospital (LRH) doesn’t have a place where a transgender in a critical condition can be treated, not in the ICU. not in any of the wards, no place,” the post added.

“We had to pull the curtain after a long negotiation,” said Qamar Naseem, the coordinator of the Blue Veins program. “We put Alesha on a bed in front of the lavatory,” he explained, adding that those were the only terms acceptable to the people at the hospital.

For an hour, while Alesha bled, doctors couldn’t decide whether to admit her to the men’s or women’s ward, according to Trans Action. When they finally decided on the men’s ward, Trans Action protested and had her moved to the women’s ward, where other women apparently complained.

Then the taunts began, Trans Action said. One doctor allegedly asked a Trans Action volunteer for her telephone number and how much she charges for a dancing party. Another was reportedly asked if her breasts were real. Another asked if the women from Trans Action just danced or also “perform sex,” according to the group.

The world watched in horror as members of the Pakistan Alliance tried in vain to save her life a few feet from an ICU ward.

Alishia was operated on in a filthy room but it was too little top late. Alisha died Wednesday morning for the high crime of being transgender.

At the time we felt consoled that Alisha was buried with traditional Muslim honors. She was the first transgender person in Pakistan to have that bestowed on her.

Then came an awaking of the public horrified at the inhuman way that she was treated at the Hospital. With Her death changes bagan in Pakistan, most of those have carried through to today.

And when news of the arrest of the culprit came and we rejoiced.

In July 2019 Fazal Dayan alias Fazal Gujjar was convicted of her murder and sentenced to death, reported. His co-accused Rehmatullah was acquitted due to a lack of evidence.

A Peshawar High Court on Tuesday acquitted Fazal Dayan alias Fazal Gujjar and set aside his death penalty.

The trial court had mostly relied on the dying declaration of Alisha, a 23-year-old transgender activist, who recorded her statement when she was taken to Lady Reading Hospital in critical condition after the occurrence on May 23, 2016, reports Dawn,.com

The prosecution claimed that Fazal Gujjar was known for receiving extortion from transgender persons and he fired at Alishah as she declined to fulfill his illegal demands.

Advocate Khizar Hayat Khazana appeared for the appellant and contended that the prosecution case suffered from several loopholes and the trial court erred in convicting his client.

He pointed out that the dying declaration of the deceased was defective as the prescribed rules and procedure for recording the same were not followed.

He argued that in the first instance the medical officer concerned stated that the deceased was received in injured condition with profuse bleeding and was in a state of shock.

He contended that under the rules the doctor had to issue the certificate with the dying declaration to prove that the deceased was in a position to record the statement.

He added that the rules provided that the dying declaration should be recorded in presence of two police officers or two public witnesses or a magistrate, but in the instant case that requirement was not fulfilled.

Alisha was lucid when she arrived at the Lady Reading. I heard the recording that she made identifying the assailants.

Her friends did everything they could to summon a Police officer to properly file an FIR. Her friends did their very best to get a doctor, any doctor to attend to her wounds during the critical first hours of her need.

We all saw what was happening like we were a foot away.

It is a slap in the face of transgender people everywhere to see this criminal walk free.

Related reading:

Tribune: Transgender activist dies after being ‘denied treatment’ for gun wounds in Pakistan hospital Save The Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar

LA Times Pakistani transgender activist who was shot, then taunted at hospital, dies of injuries

The Express Tribune No hospital big enough for transgender people

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Kelli, Busey is managing editor at Planet Transgender