Before getting to the core reason of this debate, I’d like to talk about one of my colleagues – who’s no more in this world. Wayne Braganza was a cheerful peer who always helped those in need and tried to break the ice with even the most difficult of people. If I had a nickel for every time he came across me, smiling brightly, in the same day – I might just be able to have an animal sanctuary right away. We would discuss supernatural seasons. He always told me how badly he was waiting for teen-wolf to come out. Anyway, his body was found in the outskirts of Sheikupura on March 5th, 2019. What makes me more sad is that his body showed signs of immense torture and suffering. Shot 5 times! The media accused him of abuse and the murderers (Sub Inspector Ehtisham Virk & his fiance) said they had no guilt of doing so. Wonder how dehumanized they had to be to just kill someone and not even regret it later. Anyhow, apart from those who knew Wayne, there wasn’t much coverage on this. I mean the guy was missing his freaking finger nails and no one gave a rat’s arse. Yet, everyone would love to talk about Met Gala and how Chopra’s hair was so bad (get a life, for that, seriously – let her live).
What I fail to understand is why there were no posters pleading justice for him outside the court by the woke people about this. It was because the media propagated him as dead yet guilty or bad. No matter how bad of a human you think someone is, guys, never take law in your hands. The courts exist for a reason.
Anyway, to make a long story short – his folks never pursued the case against his murderers (because duh – they didn’t have as strong a background as the culprits). Justice crippled its way into a dark hole. Social media went quiet in a few days, that’s the end of it.
Just yesterday, I came across a revelation because a friend of mine had the bal*s to share it on her instagram story. Had she not done that – I still wouldn’t have known that there was so much heat on Kami Sid these days or before. Honestly, I have been at the center of a hurricane in my university days where even when I didn’t do anything wrong – many talked against me so I can’t really make an opinion over this. However, I can’t help but notice that even the most fastest of online publications/news talking about mangoes, people, samosas, cars and whatnot didn’t cover it too. The credible sources are talking about it yes – but the ones that young people turn to most for their daily updates are quiet on this issue. Saddening, really.
Anyway, here are a few writings to help you understand what’s up;
Muhammad Salman Khan’s Account
“For the first time in years and that too at great personal risk I will be making this public that a well known activist and model Kami Sid from Karachi is a child molester, sexual harasser and rapist of a minor 15 year old trans girl named Sana (unfortunately the victim was murdered by her lover earlier this year).
The rape incident happened back in 2015, after Kami Sid and her partner Sid Kami hired a 15 year old trans girl Sana as a maid. Kami and her boyfriend use to sexually abuse, torture and beat Sana at their flat in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Karachi. This brutality continued for months until Sana was fired from her job. As Sana became homeless and jobless, she found refuge at a transgender guru to whom she narrated her ordeal.
That a transgender guru held a meeting with many senior transgender community representatives and the rape case against Kami Sid was silenced after bribes were paid to shut them all.This rape case surfaced again after Sana was living in poverty and disease near Saddar in 2018. It was brought to the table by many women rights activist in the city who were troubled to hear about an known activist Kami calling herself “feminist” and being accused of raping a minor girl.
A close door inquiry was held at Women Action Forum Karachi (WAF-Karachi) were in front of many senior feminists the rape victim Sana was brought to speak out about the rape incident and what had happened with her when she was employed by Kami Sid. Sana narrated her story infront of many prominent senior feminists (many of them are still associated with WAF-Karachi and continue to remain silent about this rape incident), but they’ve remained quiet about the incident amongst them
Sana was unfortunately murdered earlier this year in 2019 by her lover and a murder case against her lover is still pending in the City Court, Karachi. For those who want evidence of Kami’s rape case there is a voice recording of a senior transgender representative who accepted that they had taken bribes to keep quiet about the rape incident, also WAF Karachi and another Karachi based HIV NGO PARWAAZ (where Kami worked while this rape incident happened) have the necessary documentation related to the rape case. Kami was also jailed in Bangkok for shoplifting and harassing a Thai police officer and the police report on is public too.
I’m speaking out against Kami after being exploited and threatened for years. Just a month ago, she had emailed my editor that I have been “harassing” her (which is completely not true) infact she had used her influence to stop me from getting my work published in the print section of the newspaper I work. I was working with Kami on a voluntary basis (2016/2017) and I know her well, these are not baseless rape allegations and there are many prominent activists, journalists, academics and many transgender community members too who are protecting and promoting a known rapist like Kami despite her rape case. While working with Kami, I never knew what kind of morally degraded person she was until I was associated with her and it is disgusting to know what kind of sick and twisted person she is!!
I have been threatened, verbally abused and even blackmailed for speaking out against her exploitative ways. (I’m not the only victim, there are others many who have been and are continuously threatened by her… Unfortunately many have been forced out of Pakistan or have gone into hiding).
This post shouldn’t be taken as an attempt to harm the transgender movement in Pakistan, in fact it is out of solidarity after Kami threatened fellow feminists like Shumaila Hussain Shahani, Minahil Baloch, Qurrat Mirza and Aiman Rizvi that I had the courage to speak out against a known harasser and rapist who shouldn’t be considered as the sole representative or leader of the community that she has exploited for legitimacy.
I considered Kami Sid my idol, I had a lot of respect for her and previously worked (voluntarily) with her too but as I wasn’t comfortable with her exploitative ways back in 2017 and confronted her she continued to harass me where ever I went (I moved to Lahore for a brief while back in 2017) and in whatever work I did. I have nothing against her, I had tired hard to stay quiet and move on but today wasn’t I can’t see 19 year old innocent girl Minahil Baloch, the way I was or Aiman Rizvi was also few months back. Enough is enough, these threats blackmailing and abuse culture must STOP!
I urge fellow journalists, activists and allies to stop promoting a rapist, known sexual harasser and child molester like Kami or her NGO Sub Rang Society (which has done no work for the transgender community on the ground despite getting funds from USAID, COC, Oxfam etc).
I know there are many powerful and influential people backing Kami and if they don’t stop it they will be NAMED and SHAMED for that, these are serious accusations against someone who aren’t jealous but need justice for a 15 year old transgender girl who was raped, harassed and beaten up Kami Sid.
Below are screenshots of Kami’s threats against fellow activist Minahil Baloch, Kami’s post of shaming those feminists who have been public about her rape case in Urdu (which has now been removed), Thai police report against Kami’s arrest in Bangkok in 2014, Muhammad Moiz email who had came across this case before in 2015 and also a Facebook post of lawyer Shumaila Hussain Shanani who was actively working with Sana before she was murdered by her lover and journalist Aiman Rizvi who was threatened just like Minahil and me. HOW MUCH MORE EVIDENCE YOU NEED?”
Here are a few images posted by Khan regarding the case;
Minahil Baloch’s Account
“So a young trans-woman – for ease, a boy who identified as a woman from Sukkur and was labelled khusra at home – ran away and came to Karachi. Someone told him about an organization that works for people like him and he landed up at our organization. Kami was the coordinator of the drop-in center, and told the kid that my home is your home you can spend time there.
A few days later the same kid called up a field worker of the organization and said that I want to see your doctor but at a time that Kami isn’t there. The field worker was poor, terribly afraid of Kami, and wanted his job to remain because the measly 12k he made was the only money he made – and executive director had a habit of firing anyone and everyone who dared to say anything about Kami (or so the rumours went).
The worker took the kid to the doctor on a day when Kami wasn’t there. The doctor examined the kid, went to the program manager, and told him that the kid has been visibly raped, has two concurrent STDs, and is crying and saying that Kami and her boyfriend have raped me for three days straight at their place.
The case was raised, Kami fought with the field worker and threatened to have him fired, threatened the kid, and the issue died down because the head office said; “oh everyone is jealous of Kami”.
I was hired and that small organization came under me – in a way. One fine afternoon, a khwaja sira guru came to the clinic and spoke to the program manager saying this kid is now my chela, and she has informed me that she was raped by Kami. Fire her, or I am bringing all other khwaja sira activists out against you. He called me, told me the story, and I with the blessing of executive director went to Karachi to investigate this.
What I found was damning enough to have her be penalized – she took a minor, from an organization supposed to be protecting our own kind, to her home, and the next we saw the minor she’s raped, bruised, and diseased. SO this was, at the VERY LEAST, a case of serious neglect of a minor while being in a position of responsibility.
She was “suspended“, she went to the guru, a meeting of khawaja siras was called among them, they all in typical desi fashion did sullaah safaayi for the welfare of all, the guru said we have nothing against you now that Kami has apologized, and Kami was re-hired (touche).
The case never died … People knew, hence more people found out… and when Kami was being championed as a feminist icon, these feminist women spoke up. There is a reason Kami has been dropped from all panels at KLF, Lahooti, and other places now.”
Later on in one of her comments she said the part written below – which everyone reading this article needs to understand as well. Just because a tree had one bad apple doesn’t mean all others are bad too.
“I will never write this comment on mainstream social media – because I know how bigots will use this and create a security situation for all queer people and tran-swomen especially! There is a reason all activists have been largely quiet – because most of us were scared that this one case will be used against the larger community.
On the other hand, Ms. Kami has been blessing herself with the silence of the community and going unchecked with zero repentance and shame.
And I am sorry to say but all those of you who cozy up to her for your own social game have a role to play in this. It takes courage to speak truth to power. I hope you find it in you… “
There’s also news about Minahil being threatened etc.
Why was she threatened? Swipe away, right below this statement;
Shumaila Hussain Shahani’s Take
“This is to inform everyone that Kami Sid has been threatening people whoever speak of the fact that she had been accused of rape by a transwoman. The transwoman who accused Kami and her boyfriend Sid of rape was 18 or 19 when she died few months ago (FIR of her murder nominates victim’s boyfriend for murder), and was 14 at the time of commission of the offense of rape. This news is PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE. The victim/survivor had complained of rape to her guru who had then confronted Kami and called in Bindiya for mediation/help in confronting Kami. Kami admitted to having paid compensation in the sums of 10 to 15k to the guru of the trans-woman. Kami calls it kharcha, the guru of the victim/survivor calls it compensation for rape. Please note that the victim/survivor never went to Courts as
i. she was a minor then, and
ii. she being a transwoman did not even have the privelege required for people to make it to courts.
Since this information came out of the trans community and reached feminist circles Kami has been threatening everyone into silence. The purpose of this post is just to inform Kami Sid that things that are public knowledge will be talked about and defamation does not apply here. It only applied to the victim/survivor who broke this news to us and who fortunately is in a better world now. In a world where people don’t use defamation threats to silence the truth.”
Muhammad Moiz’s Take
“Fuck discretion. And I am DONE being quiet. This is the Kami Sid rape case. The original post contains links to the other threads.
As an assault survivor myself, I am done being quiet.
We have to look inwards in our own small circles and fix them. Otherwise we are just complicit.
There are still those who facilitated this entire continued abuse, and still patron Kami for their own social capital. You know you are. Shame on you, and may you rot in hell for being complicit in the continued abuse of a minor under your watch.”
Aiman Rizvi’s Account
“A few months ago I posted on twitter questioning why KLF was screening a film made by someone who had rape allegations against them. In the days that followed, model and activist Kami harassed close friends to get info on me – finally got my number and shouted at me relentlessly. She threatened me, gaslighted me and hurled accusations at the feminist collective I am a member of as she also went on to threaten other members of that group. (Qurrat Mirza & Shumaila Hussain Shahani)
As I calmly explained to her that I was only asking questions about allegations that were public knowledge, was not making allegations of my own and therefore there wasn’t much she could do even if she tried taking me to court – she told me that my questions would result in her death.
I was terrified. As a cis-het woman in this country I have immense relative privilege and I did not want to be reckless with another person’s life. I also started to question if it was my place to call-out the member of a community that is institutionally oppressed and institutionally marginalized without the prior consent and support of said community – especially considering the societal costs this call-out could result in for the community itself. I am still struggling with some of these questions. What I do know is that Kami has bullied and threatened me and countless others for asking questions.
That being said, I just want to take a moment to caution everyone. As this conversation moves forward, please, please make sure to separate the individual and their actions from the larger community. If you are a journalist who has woken up to this news this morning, please be careful with how you narrativize this content – don’t generalize, don’t sensationalize and don’t be trans-phobic. I’ve already seen a bunch of people not using correct pronouns for the person who has been accused, and I’ve also seen people being extremely trans-phobic and homophobic since this news has broken. I personally have a zero tolerance policy for such behavior – if I see you doing any of these things I will call you out.
The allegations made against Kami are terribly disturbing. For many, she was an idol – and processing this information is difficult. But just remember that her actions are hers alone, and they do not justify any hatred or vitriol towards a community that is extremely marginalized, a community that you have immense privilege over, and a community that is not complicit in any way to the actions that are angering you.“
Hamza Baloch’s Account
“I never thought of coming back to social media this early but I did think to contribute to an ongoing issue for more clarity.
Whatever accusations are labeled against Kami Sid and her partner Siddique Wali are in my knowledge since 2016-17.
It was not made public before because of the vulnerability of an extremely marginalised Khwajasira community but I can vouch for Minahil Baloch and Muhammad Salman Khan because I was also bullied by Kami and her cis het friends back in 2018 (I won’t shy away naming and shaming them too if they do it again) and then I decided to distance myself as much as I possibly can but now the call out has been made so I’m also picking a side by supporting Minahil and Salman, I was silent not to support the accused but to protect the victim who is no more alive, unfortunately. For details, you guys can read what Muhammad Moiz had posted, he is the one who needs to be believed and he investigated this case when it first came to surface.
I’ve to point out and request few things,
A. Please don’t forget, rape accusation is not only against Kami but her partner Siddique Wali is also equally responsible and accused of it, whenever you call out, don’t forget him.
B. What Kami and her partner did is an extremely disgusting, insane and wrong act which must be condemned but we must not allow others to bully and malign Khwajasira community and we must fight back homophobia and transphobia with greater strength.
C. Kami and Siddique, you guys can now play defamation – defamation, we’re no more afraid of you, your #TimesUp“
Also check out this video of a trans-woman in support of this #MeToo movement: Click here.
Aurat March’s Statement
“Kami Sid was a member of the AM organizing committee in 2018. She was removed when we became aware of these allegations, also back in 2018.
Model and activist Kami Sid, has recently been accused of silencing those speaking out against her due to allegations of sexual violence.
We have been aware of these allegations and members of our group have also been subjected to Kami’s bullying tactics. We removed Kami as an organizer of the Aurat March due to these very allegations and we stand in solidarity with those who have come forward with their allegations of sexual violence.
These allegations stayed within a whisper network for many years because of the very serious cost and risk they could pose to an extremely marginalized community. However, now that the call out has been made, we would just like to highlight that the Khwajasira community is an immensely vulnerable and institutionally oppressed community in Pakistan, and as this conversation moves forward we must all make sure to separate the individual and their actions from the larger community.
If you identify as an ally of this movement, please stand with us and fight the homophobia and transphobia on the internet today. Don’t generalize, don’t sensationalize and please don’t be transphobic. Kami’s actions are hers alone, do not let people use them as a justification for hatred and vitriol against an entire community.
We, the organizers of the Aurat March, stand in resolute solidarity with the Khwajasira community, and we heavily caution all those engaging with this news, to be cognizant of the immense marginalization of this community as they partake in this important conversation.
We also urge those engaging in what has now become a public conversation to not only respect the agency of survivors but also be mindful of the ways in which this conversation is taken forward. We should be careful to not breach the privacy and safety of survivors or endanger their lives through our words and actions.”
Kami Sid’s Statement
As per Dawn – Kami says that;“There is a group against me. People’s personal agendas are involved. There’s nothing else I can really say. Now people from my committee will speak up. I have a calm temperament and I am a trans woman, people should understand how trans individuals have been oppressed in the past and in the present. If people want to say these things, well, that is their right.”
Women’s Action Forum – Karachi also gave out a statement – read here.
On Media’s Role
This is a developing story and I can’t really be a part of the narrative that I have no idea of. I, however, am still flabbergasted by how ignorant or busy I am that I didn’t even come across a single post in my feed related to this very news. Kami Sid has been an inspiration to many esp. since the transgender community tends to face the most ruthless parts of humanity every now and then. For a tans-woman to have made this far was not just miraculous but beautiful. She was even interviewed by The Guardian – I loved it. However, the things that came out are highly disturbing not just for me but many.
A child may or may not have been molested, who knows? But then again the court orders state otherwise. Media’s role is not to inform us about the new eateries or entertainment sessions – its role is to raise awareness about the good and bad that’s surfacing within our society. Where was media when the child was murdered? I don’t quite remember any news on that. Where was the media when Wayne was missing for a week or so? The media instead blamed him to be an animal.
Money, dear readers, can turn anyone against literally anyone. Is there a tomorrow for us? Maybe, if we started giving more importance to human lives than material things. Remember the Jatoi case? Why do influential people always end up free even after doing everything wrong? No religion preaches that. This is on us, guys. This is on us because we tend to say the most obvious of statements when someone tells us that a mutual friend abused someone they know; “Pta nahi yar. Mere sath tou kabhi nahi kia, dil acha hai uska. Hou sakta hai ye jhoot hou. Jo mene ankho sy nahi dekha main kyun manun wo?”
What to do if a child tells you of their Abuse?
With all this in mind, it is important to think right now what you will do from now on – if a child trusted you with their vulnerabilities. If a child tells you that he or she has been abused – instead of trying to make him/her think otherwise. Be their freaking SHIELD!
1. Take the child to a safe-place, discreetly.
2. Get the police involved.
3. Get the abuser punished.
If this is too much for you – just try acting upon the first point. If you can help the child towards safety you might just save innocence itself and give him or her a new chance at life. Make sure that if you visit a help center – you keep in touch with the children there. You never know what might be going on behind closed doors.
The world is a place filled with horrors and freak shows – however, it is our duty to protect the ones who can’t do so for themselves. Be it raising a voice, being there for someone or starting a chain reaction of something positive. Best of luck!
Sources: https://www.facebook.com/ShumailaHussainShahani/posts/2212062072163785 https://www.facebook.com/mojojojoxx/posts/668483790289258 https://www.facebook.com/aiman.rizvi/posts/10162374338145713 https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=593622707811662&id=100014918140926 https://www.facebook.com/salmanall/posts/2798166383533322 https://www.facebook.com/M.Moiz/posts/10219650651758857 https://www.facebook.com/AuratMarch2019/photos/a.2116097308622937/2417306118502053/?type=3&theater