Friday, February 11, 2011

Rape Victim, 14, Dies After Public Flogging in Bangladesh

A 14-year-old Bangladeshi girl allegedly raped by a much older cousin
has died after being publicly flogged for adultery, media reports

Hena Begum was sentenced to receive 100 lashes by a village council
made up of elders and Muslim clerics in the district of Shariatpur,
about 35 miles from the capital, Dhaka, the BBC said today.

She endured about 80 lashes before collapsing Monday, according to The
Daily Star, a Bangladeshi newspaper. Her family took her to a
hospital, where she died.

"What sort of justice is this? My daughter has been beaten to death in
the name of justice. If it had been a proper court then my daughter
would not have died," Dorbesh Khan, the girl's father, told the BBC.

Family members said Hena was raped by a 40-year-old married cousin,
The Daily Star said. The man's family beat up the teen, then accused
of her adultery, the newspaper said.

The very next day, she was sentenced to the flogging in a fatwa, or
religious ruling, issued by the village council under Islamic Shariah
law, the BBC said.

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Her father was also told pay a fine of about $700, police told the

Four people, including a Muslim cleric, have been arrested in
connection with Hena's death, the BBC said. Police said they were
looking for another 14 people in the case.

Bangladesh's high court has ordered district officials in Shariatpur
to explain why they did not protect the girl, The Daily Star said. The
court ruled eight months ago that Shariah punishment was illegal.

In December, a 40-year-old woman in Rajshahi district died after she
was publicly caned for allegedly carrying on an affair with her

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