Bangladesh: Death Penalty For 16 Who Burned Teen Alive For Refusing To Withdraw Sexual Harassment Complaint
A Bangladesh court on October 24, has ruled the death sentence for 16 people undergoing trial for the murder of a student who refused to withdraw sexual assault charges against her headteacher.
Nusrat Jahan Rafi, 19, was doused in kerosene and set ablaze on April 6 after she raised sexual harassment allegations against the principal of her rural Islamic seminary.
Rafi went to cops in March to report the sexual harassment. The Feni court found that the headteacher had ordered the murder of the brutal killing of Nushrat from jail after, the headteacher was arrested over the harassment claim. The headteacher is also one among those sentenced to death. The judges also imposed a fine of 100,000 Taka each.
Others sentenced to death include activists from the ruling Awami League party and some students — including two females — who either participated in the killing or guarded the gates of the seminary while the incident took place. After the verdict, Hafez Ahmed, the prosecutor told reporters that the verdict proves that nobody can escape after committing murder in Bangladesh.
“The verdict proves that nobody will get away with murder in Bangladesh. We have the rule of law,” prosecutor Hafez Ahmed told reporters after the verdict in a crowded courtroom.
Nushrat was lured to the rooftop of the seminary in Sonagazi. Once she reached the roof, the attackers forced her to withdraw the complaint she had filed. When she refused, she was tied and doused with kerosene and set on fire.
She was admitted to the hospital with 80 per cent of her body burnt. She died after four days of agony on April 10. Her death sparked a furore across the nation, with protesters staging demonstrations calling for “exemplary punishments” for the killers.
The incident coerced, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to form committees to prevent sexual violence in 27,000 schools in the country.