A transgender woman was allegedly kidnapped and had her hair shaved off after refusing to pay her captors extortion money, activists claim.
Shakeela, 27, says she was held against her will for three hours on the first day of Eid last week in her home town in Pakistan.
She claims she was threatened with further violence if she did not hand over one million rupees (£5,200) to the gang.
The 27-year-old, who works as a dancer in the city of Mardan, had given money to the gang twice before.
The first time, she paid 40,000 rupees and the second 50,000 rupees, to keep them at bay for a while so she could continue to work and dance in the area.
But on this occasion they had demanded a "huge" amount.
Shakeela is now speaking out about her ordeal in the hope of getting local police to investigate the attack.
Farzana Jan, the president of Trans Action and the first Pakistani to have a gender-neutral ‘X’ passport, told Metro.co.uk that one of the reasons why Shakeela was targeted was that trans women are seen as vulnerable and an easy target.
She said in the last four years 64 transgender people have been killed while over 600 have been tortured.
Farzana told Metro.co.uk : ‘There is an organised group of criminal gangs who specifically target the transgender community because they are more vulnerable.
‘They’re involved not only in the sexual exploitation of the transgender community but they extort money from them.
‘They are seen as weak and easy targets.’
Speaking about Shakeela, she said it was "impossible" for her to pay the money demanded.
In Pakistan, homosexuality is illegal but last year new laws were introduced allowing people to self-identify their gender on official documents.
Yet despite the change, the transgender community is still being targeted by gangs in the northern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Farzana said attacks like these happen throughout the region, some victims pay the money, some are killed or tortured.
And unfortunately, despite some arrests being made, they almost never lead to conviction.
The Trans Action president is hoping Shakeela's case will shed light on the problem in Pakistan.
Trans Action is the first ever organized community movement of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which represent 48000 to 55000 transgender and intersex community from 25 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA).
They work to end transphobia and break barriers for sexual and gender minorities in conservative Pakistan.
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