Nusrat Jahan Rafi: Burned to death for reporting sexual harassment
Nusrat Jahan Rafi, the young 19-year-old student, sexually assaulted by her headmaster was set on fire and burn to death within the school premises on the account of reporting her experience of the assault.
The report which Nusrat had filed 2 weeks after the incident at her madrassa stated that her headmaster called her in his office where he kept touching her inappropriately, feeling uncomfortable, she ran out before things could get worse.
The girl belonged to a small called Feni, near Dhaka in Bangladesh, a conservative South Asian Country where sharing women’s experiences of sexual harassment is considered a taboo as it brings shame on the family. Yet Nusrat Jahan Rafi was one of the few young girls who stood up against the crime and not only did she express her experience but she went ahead to report it as an illegal crime against the oppressor.
However, the height of insensitive behavior by the police officer (to whom she filed the complaint), rather than showing empathy and ensuring Nusrat with safety, the officers filmed her while she spoke. Later the video was leaked on social media sites in which it was evidently shown how hesitant Nusrat was while explaining the experience.
Although on the 27th of March, the headmaster was arrested but was released on demand of the public riots. Nevertheless, Nusrat and her family began to be blamed and on 6th April, when Nusrat went to sit her final exam, her brother was stopped at the gate. Inside, Nusrat was pressurized by students to drop the case and at her refusal, she was set on fire on the rooftop of the building.
Although the murderers wanted to make her murder look like a suicide, she was rescued and was able to give a statement before she passed away shortly.