Family members claim transgender person died of torture in Saudi Arabia

Family members of a Swat transgender person have claimed Mohammad Amin alias Mino had denied of the torture by the police in Saudi Arabia.

They also insisted the deceased was a man and not a transgender person, and demanded the government’s financial help.

During a news conference at the Peshawar Press Club on Thursday, Sher Zamin Khan, son of Mohammad Amin, rejected the claim of adviser to the prime minister on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz about his father’s death in Saudi Arabia by cardiac arrest.

“My father had been in Saudi Arabia for the last 20 years to earn livelihood for family. He had done nothing wrong but he was arrested from a function without reason before being subjected to severe physical torture, which caused his immediate death,” he said.

The man claimed there were visible marks of violence on the face of his father and that his teeth along with one jaw were broken.

He added that other body parts of the deceased were not checked to ascertain other injuries and that unfortunately, postmortem was not conducted on the body in Pakistan.

Mr Sher Zaman also rejected Sartaj Aziz’s claim that Mohammad Amin illegally stayed in Saudi Arabia, and produced the deceased’s passport and iqama (residence permit).

Accompanied by TransAction Association provincial president Farzana Jan, Qamar Naseem of Blue Veins organisation and Taimur Kamal of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Civil Society Network, he asked Sartaj Aziz to withdraw his claim as it had saddened his relatives and friends and damaged his family’s reputation in the people’s eyes.

“The government has not given us any financial support. Our relatives and friends collected around 16,000 riyals to prepare documents and transport my father’s body to Pakistan,” he said.

The Blue Veins organisation’s representative claimed the Pakistani embassy in Saudi Arabia had not extended any help to the deceased’s family.

He said 35 transgender persons had been arrested and 29 of them were released on payment of fines and bribe, while five continued to face interrogation.

Mr Naseem said Mohammad Amin was arrested on Feb 26, 2017, and his death certificate was issued the same day, but his body was not given to his relatives at the time for transportation to Pakistan for burial. He also demanded the immediate release of all Pakistanis detained in the Alkhair Jadeed prison of Saudi Arabia, on humanitarian grounds.

The Blue Veins organisation’s representative asked the federal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments to take practical steps for the welfare of transgender persons like other citizens of the county.

He said the provincial government had announced a fund of Rs20 million for the welfare of transgender community but failed to release the amount.


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