Organisers of the Aurat March 2019 in Karachi have issued a statement on trans activist Kami Sid, who was accused of rape and intimidation by several people on social media earlier this week.
Kami Sid was originally one of Aurat March's organisers, but in a status posted on social media Aurat March announced that Kami Sid had been removed from acting in that capacity in 2018. The statement also claims that members of the Aurat March's organising body have been intimidated by Kami.
The statement reads: "Kami Sid was a member of the AM organizing committee in 2018. She was removed when we became aware of these allegations, also back in 2018..."
"Model and activist Kami Sid, has recently been accused of silencing those speaking out against her due to allegations of sexual violence. We have been aware of these allegations and members of our group have also been subjected to Kami’s bullying tactics. We removed Kami as an organizer of the Aurat March due to these very allegations and we stand in solidarity with those who have come forward with their allegations of sexual violence.
The statement stresses that the accusations against Sid should not be used as an excuse to further marginalise an already at-risk community.
"However, now that the callout has been made, we would just like to highlight that the Khwajasira community is an immensely vulnerable and institutionally oppressed community in Pakistan, and as this conversation moves forward we must all make sure to separate the individual and their actions from the larger community," says the statement.
"If you identify as an ally of this movement, please stand with us and fight the homophobia and transphobia on the internet today. Don’t generalize, don’t sensationalize and please don’t be transphobic. Kami’s actions are hers alone, do not let people use them as a justification for hatred and vitriol against an entire community."
Kami has been a vocal supporter of the Aurat March in the past. This year, she attended the Aurat March in Lahore.