Last night, transgender activist Alesha, the Trans Action Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa coordinator in Peshawar, Pakistan was shot eight times and seriously injured by a “group which allegedly extorts money from the transgender community,” as reported by News Pakistan.
Even though Alesha (conflicting reports spell her name Ale Sha or Alisha) was listed to be in critical condition, authorities at the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar kept her waiting, untreated, for over one hour, while they decided whether to bring her to the male or female ward.
Despite Trans Action’s requests, she was taken to the male ward, but under the group’s protest, Alesha was switched to be with the women, but patients at the female ward complained. On a Facebook post, Trans Action explained their anguish: “We really don’t know what to do and where to go.”
While they waited to see what was going to happen with Alesha, one of the friends who accompanied her to the hospital posted on Facebook that she was being harassed by the hospital staff. “A doctor wants to know how much I charge for dance for a night and another health technician wants to know if I only dance or also perform sex,” she wrote.
Early this morning, Alesha was operated on. Doctors say she is in critical condition, and that the next nine hours are crucial. If she survives, she’ll have to go through several surgeries. Alesha needs to be in ICU, but they can’t find a bed for her.
On another Facebook post the group wrote: “NO BED FOR TRANSGENDER IN THE WHOLE HOSPITAL. We are running since 9:30 am till now (1:30 PM) to find a bed for Alesha. We are asked to go to male ward and from the male ward to female ward. Upstairs, Downstairs but this transpacific Hospital (LRH) has not place where a transgender in a critical condition can be treated no place in ICU no Place in Ward. F**K THIS SYSTEM F**K THIS REFORM.”
Two hours later, the situation remained the same: “Update since morning Alisha has not received any medical attention and no bed is given to her. She is in a movable stretcher in a corridor. The Hospital Says no Place for Transgender. Media is requested to visit and see. Shame on PTI claims of improving the health facilities in KP”.
Finally, just about four hours ago, the group gave up and had to rent a room at Bolton Block, an “elaborately furnished” facility which usually accommodate politicians and government officials. “The hospital administration clearly told us that they can not put us in male or female wards and we have to hire a private room. We are very thankful to media friends for all the support,” the post said.
Photo: Trans Action Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Facebook page.