Court of Bangladesh has sentenced 16 people to death for the murder of 19-year-old Nusrat Jahan Rafi, who complained to the police of sexual harassment from the Director of the school. Among the prisoners – the Director, two classmates Nusrat and two local leaders of the branch of the ruling party. This writes the “Russian service BBC”.
6 April 2019 Nusrat was invited to go on the roof of the school. 11 days before she filed a police report to the Director, saying that he was repeatedly summoned her to his office and touched her in an unaffordable manner. On the roof of the school Nusrat was surrounded by four or five people in veils. They demanded that she withdrew her complaint from the police. When the girl refused to do so, she was doused with kerosene and set on fire.
According to investigators, the killer hoped it would look like a suicide. However, Nusrat was able to escape and even made it home. Realizing that is unlikely to survive, the girl asked her brother to write to mobile phone her statement.
“The teacher touched me. I will fight against such crimes until the last breath” she said, calling the names of those who attacked her on the roof of the school. Nusrat received burns to 80% of his body and died four days later, April 10.
According to human rights organisation ActionAid, in educational institutions in Bangladesh, including in religious schools, widespread sexual harassment. While victims of violence and harassment are often subjected to condemnation and persecution in their communities, harassed and often beaten. Therefore, the act of Nusrat, a statement which was shot on a mobile phone, looks out of the ordinary.
After that throughout the country there were mass protests against the culture of impunity surrounding sexual crimes. The Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina has publicly promised that criminal prosecution will not escape, none of the participants in the crime. Charges were brought against the 16 participants in the conspiracy after a month – in may. The trial of 16 accused held in an expedited manner, although normally these trials last for years. Attorney Hafez Ahmed called it evidence that in Bangladesh, “murder won’t get away with it”.
The investigation of the death of Nusrat Jahan Rafi has revealed a conspiracy involving several powerful men and classmates of a girl whose aim was to silence her. Among the defendants in this case are three madrasah teachers, including the Director of Siraj UD Doula, and two of the leaders of the local branch of the ruling party “Awami League”. Police said that the officer, who was detained by the police after the statement of Nusrat, gave the order to deal with a student while he was in a prison cell. These same people also worked several police officers who spread false information about what Nusrat committed suicide and was not murdered. Those policemen were not on trial.