Pakistani Cops Arrest Married Couple for Lying About Gender of Transsexual Husband

Police arrested a wife and her husband — a woman who underwent gender reassignment surgery 16 years ago — and accused them of lying about the husband's gender to a court in eastern Pakistan.

The case — which casts a rare public spotlight on the taboo subject of transsexualism in this conservative country — came to the attention of the authorities after the bride's father appealed to the High Court in the city of Lahore to annul his daughter's wedding, saying it was against Islam for two women to marry.

Police arrested Shumail Raj, 31, and Shahzina Tariq, 26, on Sunday, said Aslam Tareen, a senior police officer.

The court ordered earlier this month that Raj and Tariq, who married last year, be arrested and produced before it for making a false statement about Raj's sexuality, Tareen said.

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Raj earlier claimed in a sworn statement before the court that he is a man. But a court-appointed panel of doctors later declared him a woman.

Raj told the court-appointed doctors that he underwent gender reassignment surgery 16 years ago after he noticed changes in his voice and began to grow facial hair, Ejaz Bhatty, the head of the panel of court appointed doctors who examined Raj said earlier.

Raj's breasts and uterus were removed in the sex-change operation, Bhatty said. However, Bhatty added that there was "all the evidence" that supports Raj to be a woman, including the absence of a penis.

Raj and Tariq have been moved to Faisalabad, their hometown about 60 miles west of Lahore, Tareen said without giving any reason, adding that they are scheduled to appear in the High Court in Lahore on Tuesday.

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