To the National Human Rights Commission of India, the West Bengal State Police and the Sports Authority of India:
On Thursday 14 June, 2012 Pinki Pramanik, Asian Games gold medalist athlete, was formally arrested by Baguiati Police on the charge of being a male and held for alleged rape. Since then Pinki has been isolated from both support groups and her own family. She was not allowed to meet her father or interact with various human rights groups that have reached out to her like Kolkata based activist group Sappho for Equality in spite of repeated pleas by Pinki for intervention. During her time in
custody, Pinki has refused to undergo gender tests without due diligence.
However, on Saturday, 16 June, an unauthorized gender test was conducted on Pinki in a private clinic after which the police called a press conference declaring her a male. During this test, there were no women police, nor a state gynecologist, endocrinologist or counselors present. In all sex determination tests, it is mandatory to have at least two of the above mentioned. After this gross violation of human
rights, Pinki was prejudged guilty by the way she has been treated and paraded before the media.
Pinki continues to insist that she is a woman and has appealed to be treated as such until proven otherwise.
She is now to appear for a second gender test and we the undersigned demand that these violations be brought to a complete halt.
Though it is common practice in the field of sports to subject people who are "suspected" to be of indeterminate gender to "gender checks/tests", we condemn the practice due to the fact that it de-humanises the person concerned and is a gross violation of the individual's right to dignity and life. If however, Pinki must be subjected to these tests in order to continue her career as an athlete, we insist that you ensure they are done with her full consent and also in the presence of woman police, a female counsellor, familiar with issues of intersex, trans-gender people,
endocrinologist, gynaecologist as is mandatory.
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