Kami Sid rape allegations have started an important discussion
There had been rumors circulating against Kami Sid, a transgender model and activist. Recently, these rumors have come to the forefront after a Twitter user posted about an allegation against Kami Sid and her boyfriend from back in 2015. These allegations came to light after a short movie by Kami Sid was selected for screening at Cannes Film Festival this year.
The original allegation against Kami Sid was written anonymously about a rape and assault allegation against Kami Sid on a social media group
We spoke to Minahil, the person who made the first public allegation about Kami Sid, recently and she said, “I have known this for months, I was just too afraid to talk about it. The community is very marginalized and I not belonging to the community, I’m very privileged and I didn’t want to speak up because the community itself refused to do so… This is a rape allegation and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Apart from that, Kami’s close circle (cis-het men and women) have backed her up and even they’ve harassed multiple people in the name of left politics.”
The story about Kami was originally shared through a group with a concealed identity, but later the originator of the post came forward with his side and what happened, according to him, in 2015.
The originator of this post was Muhammad Moiz, an Activist and Assault Survivor. He emailed fellow Activist Minahil Baloch the series of events that took place back in 2015.
The entire story. It was posted anonymously on a secret Pakistani group. pic.twitter.com/kfr9BezqNP
— anita/minahil (@surkhminahil) May 22, 2019
In the email he narrates the story of Sana, a transwoman, who ran away from home because she was being called names and took shelter at an organization that was geared towards helping people of the transgender community. At that time, Kami Sid was also employed by the organization and was the coordinator of the drop-in center. Kami had mentioned to the young girl, she was welcome at Kami’s home for shelter. A few days later, the same girl got in contact with a field worker requesting to be taken to the doctor, but only at a time Kami is not available. Even though the field worker was at risk of losing his job, the field worker took the young girl to the doctor anyway. Upon examination, the doctor determined the young girl had been raped and has two concurrent STD’s. The doctor shared this information with the program manager and also mentioned the girl has been crying and accusing Kami Sid and her boyfriend of rape. The alleged actions went on for three days and the young girl was made to endure those brutal actions. These allegations did not see the light of day since it was Kami Sid against the young girl and the field worker. They were silenced in fear and the issue died down. Muhammad Moiz ended up taking over the organization and one day the same young girl, Sana, appeared with a Khwaja Sira Guru claiming to be Sana’s mentor. The Guru mentioned that Sana claimed to have been raped by Kami Sid and her boyfriend and if this did not get investigated and results in the termination of Kami Sid’s job, then the Khwaja Sira Activists would all take a stand against the organization. Muhammad Moiz chose to go to Karachi and investigate. The result of the investigation was “serious neglect of a minor while being in a position of responsibility.” Kami Sid was then suspended. She apologized and was reinstated to her position. A few years later the organization became independent and the case was investigated again. This time the investigation ended with the termination of Kami Sid’s job. Muhammad Moiz claims ever since Kami Sid was fired, she has been after him with threats for making her lose her job. The case never really died and people from LGBT communities were well aware of this case, according to Moiz, but chose not to speak out. Others were afraid to speak out and if they tried they were met with threats by Kami Sid and other members of her inner circle.
While speaking to MangoBaaz, Muhammad Moiz shared his perspective on the impact of these allegations on the larger transgender and LGBT community in Pakistan
Moiz said, “organizations dealing with vulnerable groups need to do more to protect the most marginalized among us: the young homeless kids who have been abandoned by their families. 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“. Individuals with no empathy towards sexual assault survivors can never comprehend he trauma and management of sexual assault. And they make incompetent and unsafe leaders of organizations. This needs to change!”
Lawyer and activist Shumaila Shahani was part of the investigation against Kami Sid, alongside Muhammad Moiz
In Shumaila’s post, she mentions the young girl was only 14 at the time of this incident and unfortunately at the age of 18 or 19 she was murdered by her partner, earlier this year. That is an ongoing investigation as well, but the victim is no longer alive to speak her truth and tell her story. She believes it is time to speak up and stand in unison against people like Kami Sid who take advantage of their power. Another point Shumaila brings up is cases of defamation from Kami is not viable since the victim is no longer alive and was not the one to come out with the news and allegations. Shumaila also claims Kami has admitted to paying and bribing the Guru of Sana. The victim did not go to court for two reasons: 1. she was a minor and 2. people of the transgender community do not have the same privileges as the rest of us when accessing criminal justice or interacting with institutions.
Muhammad Salman Khan, Journalist and Social Activist, also spoke about this incident.
Salman was once very close to Kami Sid and considered her an idol. They worked together on many projects and once the exploitative actions from Kami came into play and could be easily observed, Salman spoke out only to be met with harassment charges from Kami. His job at the time was put in jeopardy due to the allegations made by Kami against him. Throughout working with her, he said he came across the allegations against Kami and was threatened, verbally abused, and blackmailed for speaking out against Kami. Salman claims he isn’t the only victim of this type of behavior from Kami. Many others know that Kami Sid has connections and, know about this case and other activities Kami has taken part in but continue to stay quiet in fear.
Salman claims members of Feminist Circles like WAF-Karachi and HIV NGO PARWAAZ have been aware of these accusations and allegations since 2015 when Sana, the victim, herself narrated the series of events when seeking help from them. Instead of helping her, they stayed quiet. Allegedly, there is a senior transgender representative who took a bribe from Kami Sid to stay hush hush on the matter.
For the first time in years and that too at great personal risk I will be making this public that a well known transgender activist and model Kami Sid from Karachi is a child molester, sexual harasser and rapist… https://t.co/6EwxCxmJtJ
— Salman Khan سلمان خان सलमान खान 🏳️🌈 (@ImGreenGuru) May 22, 2019
We spoke to Salman about this case as well and he shared his experiences with Kami and how many people around Kami are afraid to speak up because of her influence and power. Ever since coming into contact with Kami, Salman chose to distance himself from her and refused to support her and her endeavors. Since he is a journalist and writes about the transgender community in Pakistan, he said he has purposely chosen not to ask Kami for quotes and statements because in his eyes justice was being served by not giving her the exposure she desires.
Also, Salman said he chose to speak out now because fellow activist Minahil was being personally threatened by Kami Sid and he could not bare the thought of a young girl like Minahil be subjected to the hate and abuse she was receiving. He urges all fellow journalists and activists to speak up and share this story.
Other people on social media also came out in support of people speaking out against Kami Sid’s alleged rape of a minor
One Twitter user, Manal Khan, shared Minahil Baloch’s story and mentions in the tweet that she too had known about these allegations for a while but didn’t know how to come out with them.
You're literally so fucking brave I am in awe of you every single day. I knew of this and didn't know how to put it out, it was just bugging me inside.
— nuwanda (@ManalKhan0) May 22, 2019
They also applauded the people that came out with the story and are trying to serve justice.
SO SO SO PROUD OF YOU FOR SPEAKING UP, YOU HAVE IMMENSE COURAGE AND I SUPPORT YOU!
I, too, knew about this issue like @ManalKhan0 but did not know how to speak of it because many insiders told me that it will be settled amongst the trans community.
— हसीम • Haseem • حسیم 🏳️🌈 (@haseemuzzaman) May 22, 2019
There are now claims circulating Kami Sid may have been involved in other criminal activity
Kami Sid reached out to Minahil Baloch after Minahil came forward, despite Minahil not naming Kami directly her post about Cannes is what surprised this Twitter user the most.
It's worse because of the allegations lodged against her. This is not the first time something like this has happened, worse crimes have been committed by her.
What makes it even more concerning is that she felt called out by this despite no name was taken adding further fuel to https://t.co/6cu8cEkWwg
— Sam 🏳️🌈 (@rdrchel) May 22, 2019
In any case, thinking that it is best to hear both sides of the story before making assumptions MangoBaaz has repeatedly tried to speak to Kami Sid but she has not responded with a statement till the time of publishing. She did speak to other publications about the allegation, saying, “these are very serious accusations and I’m not giving out any statements regarding the allegations without consulting my lawyer.”
With the situation at hand and the alleged threats that were previously made by Kami Sid and people of her inner circle, Muhammad Moiz shared further updates on the situation
In the post, he mentions how he had predicted things would go after news broke out. His predictions pretty much have taken place but he says he is not afraid of what will happen. He is ready for the challenge even if that means going to court.
After the public disclosing of the rape of a minor trans girl by Kami Sid and her boyfriend, everything has happened…
In light of this, the Women’s Action Forum released a statement that has since been criticized.
WAF Karachi’s statement on the challenges of activism in times of social media. For 35 years, the Women’s Action Forum…
Ever since the accusations were made public, many people have come forward sharing how they’ve either known about the case or have been threatened during the process. Shehzadi, a trans activist and the guru of the victim has also come forward and given her statement on the matter, demanding a fair trial so that the victim may receive due justice.
— anita/minahil (@surkhminahil) May 24, 2019
Shehzadi is the guru of the victim (may she rest in peace) and she took the case to Women Action Forum while the victim of #KamiSid was alive but due to certain reasons there were no follow ups of the case. https://t.co/8fMXMjINC3
— anita/minahil (@surkhminahil) May 24, 2019
A senior, renowned member of the trans community – activist Bindiya Rani – has also come forward. She talked about the case being presented in front of many prominent senior feminists.
Senior #transgender activist Bindiya Rana had come forward also about Women Action Forum-#Karachi (WAF-Karachi) meeting with Sana (murdered rape victim) and how the case was presented against Kami Sid infront of many prominent and senior feminists. pic.twitter.com/qqCP4GVPgf
— Salman Khan سلمان خان सलमान खान 🏳️🌈 (@ImGreenGuru) May 25, 2019
This is a developing story.
Cover image via brecorder.com/Facebook:@MuhammadMoiz