February 03, 2011

14-Year-Old Rape Victim Whipped To Death After Bangladesh Clerics Sentence Her To 100 Lashes With Bamboo Cane

Dhaka, Bangladesh (The Weekly Vice) - Mosammet Hena, a 14-year-old girl who was whipped to death for having a supposed affair with a married man, died before it was discovered she had been raped by the man instead.

According to authorities, four Islamic clerics were arrested after ordering the teen to suffer 100 lashes with a bamboo cane for her alleged "crime." The girl collapsed Monday after she was struck 70 times. She was taken to a local hospital, but died a few hours later.

Investigators looking into the case discovered that the girl was instead raped by her married cousin. Local clerics immediately accused the teen of having an affair and ordered a fatwa against her in accordance with Shariah law.

The girl was also reportedly beaten by the cousin's family even before the sentence of lashing was handed down.

The man accused of raping the girl was also sentenced to 100 lashes, but fled the area to avoid punishment.

A high court panel in Dhaka gave Shariatpur district officials 15 days to explain why they failed to protect the girl, even when local papers published reports that the girl had been raped.

Fatwas are illegal in Bengladesh, but because the population is largely Muslim and many of the towns are too remote for secular law to be regularly enforced, Islamic clerics often preside over courts that use Sharia law to govern and deal with issues that include extra-marital relationships.

Danny Vice
The Weekly Vice

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