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Bangladesh: 14 yo rape victim dies from public flogging

Publish Date: 09 Feb 2011
Source: AOL News

Location of Bangladesh.

Rape Victim, 14, Bled to Death After Public Flogging, Autopsy Finds

A second autopsy showed that a 14-year-old rape victim who was publicly flogged for adultery bled to death, Bangladeshi officials said today.

Hena Begum was sentenced under Islamic Sharia law to receive 100 lashes. She collapsed after enduring about 80 lashes. Her family took her to a hospital, where she died Jan. 31.

Police have opened a murder investigation into the case, which has caused shock and outrage both in Bangladesh and abroad, the BBC said.

An initial autopsy conducted after Hena's death said the girl suffered no external or internal injuries. The Daily Star, a Bangladeshi newspaper, made the results public and suggested there was a cover-up in the teen's death. The High Court subsequently ordered her body exhumed for a second autopsy.

That examination was carried out by a team of doctors at a hospital in Dhaka, the capital.

"Multiple injuries were found. The girl died because of bleeding," Deputy Attorney General Altaf Hossain told the BBC's Bengali service.

Hena was sentenced to the public whipping for adultery after she was accused of having sex with a 40-year-old married cousin named Mahbub Khan. But Hena's family and neighbors said the girl had been raped.

Khan was also found guilty of rape by elders in the village of Chamta, in Shariatpur district, about 55 miles from Dhaka, the BBC said. But despite this finding, Hena was flogged. Khan was sentenced to a whipping but he escaped.

Khan has now been arrested by the authorities, the BCC and Daily Star reported. He is expected to be charged with rape and could face murder charges if the court finds his actions led to his young cousin's death, the BBC said.

Four other people, including a Muslim cleric, have been arrested in the case, and more arrests are possible.

Bangladesh's high court last year outlawed punishments under Sharia. Hena is the second person to die since that ruling. A 40-year-old woman died in December after she was publicly beaten for allegedly having an affair with her stepson.

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