Kami Sid Accused of Intimidation and Assault, Issues Statement
One of Pakistan's transgender models, Kami Sid, has been accused of assault and intimidation
One of Pakistan's prominent transgender models, Kami Sid, has been accused of intimidation by multiple people after allegations of a rape of a trans person surfaced against her and her partner, charges she denied in a statement uploaded on her Facebook profile. The trans victim, identified as Sana on social media, was a minor when the alleged incident occurred, according to the claims, but died some time back. In her consequent statement, Kami termed the accusers as "slanderers" and stressed that "all allegations made against me were rendered as being false" following an investigation.
Kami said back when the incident had occurred and the transgender community got involved, "no legal charges were ever made against me".
However, at the same time, two NGOs that Kami was working with decided to prove the matter, she said, adding that the entire process was very "painstaking and difficult for me". Addressing the rape allegation as well as that of intimidation, she associated the claims with her success, implying that the accusers were trying to disrupt her latest film, Rani, which is to be screened at a side event of the Cannes Film Festival. "Certain people nevertheless keep bringing up these old charges against me again and again.
"Usually in those times when I have achieved something positive in my life and for my transgender community; that is when I receive a lot of media attention," she wrote.
She went on to say: "I can say from the depth of my heart that I am innocent of all the allegations made against me. I have never committed such a horrible crime."
On the other hand, she challenged the accusers to take the matter to the court, saying "bring out forward and I will stand against it".
Here is the clear statement by me— kami Sid (@kamiSid2) May 25, 2019
I hope justice will prevail pic.twitter.com/Hhvq0CJl7F
Earlier, human rights activist Minahil Baloch had taken to social media to say she was being threatened by Kami after the former's post on Facebook, which said: "Don't support rapists even if they make it to Cannes 2019. The rapists don't belong to cis-gender only. Rape knows no gender."
Baloch had not named anyone in her original post. She also stressed that her post had nothing to with Kami and her making it to Cannes, and that it was not the first time that the trans activist had issued threats.
Speaking of the intimidation, Baloch also attached screenshots of a conversation between her and Kami. Muhammad Moiz, another activist, spoke in favour of Baloch and shared screenshots of emails that detailed the rape.
Moiz, speaking to a local tabloid, said a top official at one of the NGOs Kami worked at chose not to take any action and dismissed the matter. He said: "The executive director in this organization had no protocols in place to deal with sexual abuse of minors from his own employees, and dismissed the issue as 'khusron ki laraayi'."
In the most recent update on his Twitter account, Moiz wrote that the next stop in the matter was proper action. "We've agreed with all investigative teams to provide ourselves as witnesses, and the evidences we have."
Baloch's post and claims, apart from Moiz, have been supported by lawyer Shumaila Hussain Shahani and journalists Muhammad Salman Khan and Aiman Rizvi.
Khan explained that the minor trans individual who levelled rape allegation against Kami had narrated their ordeal to feminist group Women's Action Forum (WAF) in a closed-door meeting in 2018. Rizvi, on the other hand, spoke of how Kami had threatened and hurled accusations against her for asking why the Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) screened a film by someone accused of rape.
Further, organisers of the Aurat March also issued a statement, saying they had removed Kami from the organising committee of the event's 2019 iteration after members learnt of the rape accusations in 2018.
"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," the statement read.
The allegations, they said, remained within a whisper network owing to the "very serious cost they could pose to an extremely marginalized community. However, now that the callout has been made, we would just like to highlight that the Khwajasira community is an immensely marginalized 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." The Aurat March organisers added: "If you identify as an ally of this movement, please stand with us and fight the homophobia and transphobia on the internet today. [...] 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."