Shakeela claims to have been taken from outside of a mosque on the first day of Eid al-Fitr, which fell on June 5 in Pakistan.
She said that the attackers held her against her will for three hours, beating her and shaving her head after she refused to pay them 1 million rupees (£5,200).
The 27-year-old works as a dancer in Mardan. According to the Trans Action Alliance, she had previously paid the attackers a total of 90,000 rupees as “a kind of safety money which you pay and you can work and dance in the area.”
Shakeela came forward with Trans Action to put pressure on local police.
This an organised group of criminal gangs who specifically target the transgender community because they are more vulnerable.
“They’re involved not only in the exploitation of the transgender community but they extort money from them. They are seen as weak and easy targets.”
In 2018, the Pakistani parliament introduced legislation guaranteeing transgender people basic protections and human rights, but Jan says that “the progress and implementation is almost nil.”
“The violence is high on the ground but the prosecution and conviction rate is zero