A Pakistani transgender activist who'd been shot several times died Wednesday after a Peshawar hospital delayed treatment because of disagreement over placing her in a male or female ward, according to activists who brought her in.
The woman — identified only as Alisha — received multiple gunshot wounds during an altercation on Sunday evening and was taken to the city's Lady Reading Hospital.
After arriving at hospital, activists said the medical staff kept her waiting for several hours, as they could not decide whether to put her in a male or female ward, the Express Tribune reported.
Despite several requests to move her to a female ward, Alisha was eventually moved between male and female wards, according to reports, which sparked a protest on Trans Action Alliance (TAA) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Facebook page.
The group then said they had to hire a private room as the hospital said it could not accommodate her in the male or female wards, as hospital staff claimed there was "no place for transgenders."
She underwent multiple medical procedures on Monday and Tuesday. However, on Wednesday morning, TAA announced that Alisha had "died at the hospital because she never received intensive medical attention," and blamed the provincial government.
Speaking to Dawn, Qamar Kassam, another TAA member, said the hospital staff's response to Alisha was not helpful. "The doctors kept asking injured Alisha if she danced only and how much she charged whereas the blood laboratory guy asked them if their blood was HIV positive or not."
Another activist, Farzana Jan, emotionally described how she ran around looking for doctors while attendants chased and teased her, Dawn reported.
“They won’t let us treat our patients or even grieve for our dead at the hospital. I felt as if I am not a human being or even not from this world when I see such inhuman behavior of so-called Muslim people," Jan said.
A spokesperson for the Lady Reading Hospital MTI who was present at the ward told the Express Tribune on Monday that the questions over where to situate Alisha had been resolved.
“The hospital was only acting as per the complaints of those admitted,” he said, adding that the delay was because they were trying to shift Alisha to a private room due to the problems raised in the general ward.
BuzzFeed News has reached out to Lady Reading Hospital for further comment.
Alisha was allegedly shot by a "disgruntled customer" on Sunday, according to Dawn. However, activists and rights groups in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa say "a group of blackmailers" have been attempting to extort money and intimidating and abusing transgender people in the province.
Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Francis Whittaker at email@example.com.
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