Karachi, Sindh, PK – A prominent transgender activist and international rising actor credited as being the first transgender model in his nation was removed last week as an organizer of the Aurat March. The expulsion is the result of accusations by fellow LGBTQ activists that he brutally raped a vulnerable adolescent, and threatened those who called out his sexual violence.
Kami Sid, a man who identifies as a woman and a feminist, along with boyfriend Sid Kami “use to sexually abuse, torture and beat Sana at their flat in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Karachi,” said journalist, LGBT activist and founder of QueeristanPK Muhammad Salman Khan. Sana was between the ages of 14 and 15 and working for the couple in their home as a maid in 2015 when the alleged abuse occurred.
The Aurat March takes place in Pakistan in observance of International Women’s Day, and has addressed such issues as honor killings, child marriages, wage inequalities, sexual harassment in the workplace and limited political representation.
Organizers of the march issued the following statement:
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 organiser due to these very allegations and we stand in solidarity with those who have come forward with their allegations of sexual violence.
According to activist and journalist Muhammad Moiz, a sympathetic worker snuck the child to a doctor when Mr. Sid wasn’t home. The doctor found that the adolescent had been “visibly raped,” and was suffering from two sexually transmitted diseases. The child, in tears, repeatedly named the couple as the rapists, Mr. Moiz said.
LGBTQ activists describe Sana as a “trans girl.” Mr. Sid “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,” Mr. Moiz said in a statement that was reposted on Twitter and Facebook by another of Mr. Sid’s critics.
Shumaila Hussain Shahani, a lawyer, wrote on Facebook:
The transwoman who accused Kami and her boyfriend Sid of rape was 18 or 19 when she died a 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.
Sana later complained about the rape to a guru. The guru provided mediation and helped Sana confront Mr. Sid, who paid out 10 to 15k rupee. “Kami calls it kharcha, the guru of the victim/survivor calls it compensation for rape,” the lawyer wrote in a social media post.
Gallery of rape allegations against Kami Sid
“Since this information came out of the transcommunity and reached feminist circles, Kami has been threatening everyone into silence,” university student and blogger Minahil Baloch posted on Facebook. Attached to the post are screenshots of threats the film student accuses Mr. Sid of sending via WhatsApp. The threat was allegedly retaliation for the student’s earlier tweet, which urges: “Don’t support rapists even if they make it to Cannes 2019.”
Gallery of alleged threats to student by Kami Sid
In 2017, Mr. Sid starred in the short film Rani. The film won several international awards at film festivals, and is set to be screened at Cannes Film Festival 2019.
According to Mr. Khan, Sana shared the story of the rape in the Women Action Forum Karachi (WAF-Karachi) in front of many senior feminists. However, the feminists “continue to remain silent about this rape incident,” he said.
WAF-Karachi released a statement that their organization “does not function as a tribunal,” and lacks authority to exonerate or indict. “WAF does not employ naming and shaming as a strategy in cases of sexual violence and does not call upon or launch investigations outside of the legal purview.” WAF-Karachi denounced as “irresponsible” any social justice activism that creates “a ripple of now naming and shaming other activists and groups, rather than just the alleged perpetrator.”
Mr. Moiz called out those who continue to stand by Mr. Sid despite what he considers clear evidence of child rape:
I am DONE being quiet. This is the Kami Sid rape case. … 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 who you are. Shame on you, and may you rot in hell for being complicit in the continued abuse of a minor under your watch.
Mr. Sid dismissed the rape and threat accusations as a conspiracy driven by transphobia. “There is a group against me. People’s personal agendas are involved.”
Mr. Sid began to identify as transgender at a young age when he felt cruelly rejected by other boys:
All transgender people I know have similar childhood stories of being bullied and mocked. I went to a coeducational school where I was relentlessly teased by the boys so I sat with the girls, which made the boys tease me more. They would do the stereotypical khawaja sira clap as I passed by. But children are cruel because they aren’t taught any better.
Sana has since passed away. Sana’s boyfriend is expected to stand trial for the murder that cut short a life filled with trauma.
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Images Dawn News
On Wednesday night, prominent trans activist Kami Sid was accused of rape and intimidation by a number of people on social media.
Global Village Space
Transgender activist Kami Sid has denied the rape allegations leveled against her.
The Express Tribune
Trans activist Kami Sid made headlines this week, after allegations of rape and intimidation surfaced on social media.
Images Dawn News
Kami Sid has been running her own organisation in Karachi promoting the rights and well-being of gender and sexual minorities and through her work in film, television and fashion, she hopes to gain visibility for trans Pakistanis.