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Bangladeshi Teen Burned to Death After Reporting Sexual Assault

HeadlineApr 19, 2019

In Bangladesh, campaigners are demanding justice for Nusrat Jahan Rafi, a 19-year-old woman who was burned to death at her school after she filed a sexual assault complaint against her headmaster. In late March, Nusrat went to her local police station in her hometown south of the capital Dhaka to file a complaint. Her statement was filmed by a police officer on a cellphone, in a video that was later leaked to local media. In the video, taken on the day of the alleged assault, a visibly shaken Nusrat claimed the headmaster touched her in an inappropriate manner before she managed to escape his office. Five days after filing the complaint, Nusrat returned to her school, where she was surrounded by four or five people demanding she recant her testimony against the headmaster. When she refused, she was doused with kerosene and set on fire. She survived the assault long enough to give a statement to police, before succumbing to her injuries. The case has brought renewed attention to the plight of sexual assault survivors in Bangladesh and the impunity often granted to perpetrators of sexual violence.

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