A Yale alumnus, returned home from a party in Lahore and Pakistani authorities were ready to arrest him. The reason for the arrest will astonish you.
Zulfiqar Mannan and his best friend, Kc Odesser had a small queer inspired photoshoot in front of Islamabad’s Quaid e Azam monument to promote their band Mystical Shayari’s newest single, “Disco Rani”. According to the Pakistani officials this was a valid reason to put someone under bars. After a long fight, he was granted bail on the 2nd of October. This does not mean that Manna has been acquitted. It only means that he will not be facing any jail time.
Mannan, a Pakistani, and Odesser an American native work as high school counselors in Islamabad and Lahore. For the first few weeks after the pictures and the music video was posted, Manna said everything seemed fine. Until July, when they experienced, trolling. Their pictures and videos were said to be going against the cultures and traditions of the Pakistani Community.
For the photoshoot, Mannan wore an iridescent skirt, large earrings and makeup, instead of wearing clothes worn by so called “men” in the society. A twitter cell started trolling them and created a hashtag #ArrestTheCouple. Not only that but the couple’s family also received rape threats and death notes.
Mannan finally secured bail and then pre arrest bail, which meant he didn’t have to spend any time in jail. Immediately after that, in August the hashtag #FREEZULFI was trending, even though they never actually went to jail.
Chatta, the founder of Fair Trial Defenders Legal Aid Cell said “The case effectively decided whether we want the state to decide for us what we can and cannot wear in public, it’s about police doing moral policing and how a radical, religious, nationalist group can steer what the priorities are for law enforcement agencies.” This was the point which actually changed the path of the case. It is shocking to see that anything like this could actually happen in the 21st Century.
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