16 Charged Capital Punishment in Bangladesh for Burning girl Alive
In Bangladesh, the death penalty is demanded against sixteen suspects of the murder of a 19-year-old woman. She was set on fire on the roof of her school after she had reported sexual assault. She managed to escape but died five days later. One of the suspects is the man who allegedly assaulted her; her school director.
The murder of the young woman has sparked a great deal of controversy in Bangladesh in recent weeks, where sexual harassment and sexual assault often remain undiscussed.
The 19-year-old Nusrat Jahan Rafi was lured to the roof of her Islamic school on 6 April under false pretences. Classmates told her that a friend was beaten up there.
Once arrived on the roof, a group of people dressed in burqa and gloves summoned the young woman to withdraw the charge she had filed with the police a few days earlier. She also had to sign a statement.
When she refused, she was tied up with scarves, topped with gasoline and set on fire. Because the scarves burned, she could come loose and flee down. There she was received and taken to the hospital with an ambulance, where she died a few days later.
The case came to light because Rafi recorded a video message in the ambulance in which she mentioned a number of her attackers and indicated that he would not rest until the man who assaulted her was punished.
I will always fight against this crime. Until my last breath, “she said, among other things. The message was recorded by her brother and shared via social media.
In the last days before her death, she was able to make an official statement to the police. She eventually died of her serious injuries.
The chief officer in Feni, a small town about 160 kilometres from the capital city of Dhaka, has since indicated that the young woman’s assailants are being sentenced to death. Sixteen people have been arrested.
Among them are several fellow students from the school, the principal and two local politicians who are also active at the school. The director allegedly gave the order for the murder from prison after the police arrested him for the assault charge of Rafi.
The man would have known that by now. Eleven other suspects have also admitted their involvement, including some of the young woman’s classmates. The two politicians deny involvement.
The case became even more striking last week when it appeared that a police officer had secretly filed Rafi’s report against her school director at the end of March and had spread it on social media. He has been fired.
Both in Feni, the victim’s place of residence, and in the rest of Bangladesh, various protests erupted after the death of Rafi about women’s rights and sexual violence in Bangladesh.