Human Rights and Transgender People in Pakistan

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The report provides humanitarian practitioners with information about the legal environment for recognising and protecting transgender identity in Pakistan.

The report documents the events leading to the arrest and conviction of Shumail Raj and his wife, Shahzina Tariq. After Shahzina’s father testified that Shumail was not a man, a medical examination was ordered by the judge. Although the examination revealed that Shumail had undergone gender re-assignment surgery, the judge ruled that Shumail was not a man. Therefore he and his wife were accused of perjury and the legality of their marriage came in to question.

The report documents the international and local support the couple has received, and describes how the case has led to public discussion about a previously silenced issue. The report discusses the importance of the upcoming ruling for Pakistan’s legal recognition and protection of transgender people  – particularly as same-sex marriages are not recognised. The IGLHRC makes a number of recommendations in the report to protect and promote the human rights of non-heterosexual people and also women (in their right not to be forced into marriage).

[Quote]

"The case is precedent setting for Pakistan because the issue of gender identity has been sent to the Supreme Court."

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The report documents the events leading to the arrest and conviction of Shumail Raj and his wife, Shahzina Tariq. After Shahzina’s father testified that Shumail was not a man, a medical examination was ordered by the judge. Although the examination revealed that Shumail had undergone gender re-assignment surgery, the judge ruled that Shumail was not a man. Therefore he and his wife were accused of perjury and the legality of their marriage came in to question.

The report documents the international and local support the couple has received, and describes how the case has led to public discussion about a previously silenced issue. The report discusses the importance of the upcoming ruling for Pakistan’s legal recognition and protection of transgender people  – particularly as same-sex marriages are not recognised. The IGLHRC makes a number of recommendations in the report to protect and promote the human rights of non-heterosexual people and also women (in their right not to be forced into marriage).