Afghan transgender people petition Peshawar Court for protection

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Transgender individuals from Afghanistan have filed a petition with the Peshawar High Court, seeking protection from forced deportation by Pakistan.

The petitioners argue that they face significant challenges in Pakistan due to the lack of residency cards.

The Peshawar High Court has referred the petition to a judge, aiming to ensure a safe life for these individuals, away from the Taliban. The transgender community in Afghanistan has revealed that life under Taliban rule is extremely difficult for them.

“Without residency cards or UNHCR numbers, we are facing many problems; especially if you are transgender and Afghan, it creates a lot of difficulties,” said Horeen, a transgender individual.

They identified the lack of residency documents and their transgender identity as their main challenges, amid the Pakistani government’s policy of deporting migrants. “In the past, transgender people could go to Afghanistan. Now that forced deportations have started, transgender people are also included in this,” said Farzana, another transgender individual.

In addition to the Peshawar court petition, Afghan transgender individuals have also sought protection from the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The attorney representing them argues that, given the current situation in Afghanistan under the Taliban, transgender individuals should not be deported from Pakistan.

He added that the Peshawar court has instructed the Pakistani police not to deport Afghan transgender individuals. Previously, the Peshawar High Court ordered a stay for more than ten Afghan transgender people. Human rights organizations have repeatedly stated that forced deportation puts transgender people at severe risk in Afghanistan.