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Another Day, Another Victim Pays The Price

Another Day, Another Victim Pays The Price

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Nusraf Jehan Rafi was doused with kerosine and set on fire at her school in Bangladesh. Why? For filing a sexual harassment case against the school headmaster two weeks ago.

19 year old Nusrat was called in to the headmasters office at her Madrassa. He proceeded to repeatedly touch her inappropriately. Nusrat ran out of the office. When Nusrat went to file a report at the police station, the police officer recorded her testimony on video. The officer can be heard saying the complaint is “no big deal”. The video was later leaked online.

11 days after Nusrat was assaulted, she went back to school to sit for her final exams.

Her brother was not allowed to enter the premises. Nusrat was lured onto the roof by a friend where she was surrounded and set on fire when she refused to withdraw the case against the headmaster. When Nusrat arrived at the hospital, burns covered 80% of her body. She recorded a statement on her brothers phone in the ambulance. 

“The teacher touched me, I will fight this crime till my last breath,” states Nusrat on the recording

15 students have been arrested. The policeman who made the recording has been replaced. The headmaster remains in custody. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina met Nusrat’s family in Dhaka and reassured them that her killers will be brought to justice. 

Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, a women’s rights group reports that there were 940 cases of harassment in Bangladesh in 2018. But people suspect the number to be much higher. 

Nusrat had the courage to speak about the injustice carried out against her. Many people who face sexual harassment choose to remain silent. We need to foster a society where it is safe for victims of sexual harassment to speak out.

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