Culture of impunity is a prime reason behind the rise of gang rapes in Bangladesh
The recent gang rape of 14 year old Tahiya Islam of Goher Pur, Balagonj, Sylhet, Bangladesh is no surprise.
Tahiya Islam is only 14 years old. Beautiful and clever child who is passionate about education. She was grabbed from her home, gagged and taken to a secluded part of the village, only yards from her home. There, 6 men kept her gagged while they tortured and gang raped her and left her to die. Tahiya endured so much physical pain including internal bleeding as a result. She will never fully recover from her ordeal, not to mention having to live with the shame and stigma which will haunt her for the rest of her life. Tahiya deserves proper justice, otherwise her life will end according to her father.
Full posts and campaign for justice
The spectre of rapes spreads as a trend in the sub continent and gang rape has added to the fear. The perpetrators are brash and brutal without fearing any form of punishment for their horrendous crimes of rapes and gang rapes that they commit.
The gruesome gang rape and murder of the medical student in the moving bus in India in 2012 has not changed societies at all. In fact, it has apparently set off a series of copycat rapes within Bangladesh too, according to a report by Prothom Alo.
A law student Zakia Sultana was gang raped and murdered in a moving bus by the bus workers on the Tangail – Mymensing highway in August 2017. This has shocked the nation creating public outcry. However, this is not an isolated crime.
Other cases include:
Sohagi Jahan Tonu in 2016, sparked widespread protest but no result as of yet.
The ethnic minority Garo girl gang raped on a moving microbus by five men in Dhaka as well as another girl gang raped by bus staff on the Dhaka Aricha Highway.
According to Human and Legal Rights watchdog in Bangladesh – Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) at least 186 incidents of gang rape took place from January to November 2017 in Bangladesh. Out of the 186 incidents, thirteen of the victims were killed, died of their injuries and five have committed suicide. 63 of those victims were below the age of 18, as young as 7 years old. Also in 2017 as many as 749 women were raped and 39 were killed.
According to executive director for ASK Sheepa Hafiza “culture of impunity is a prime reason behind the rise in such crimes” Chairman of Mahila Parishad Aysha Khanom stated that “most of the rapists get off scot-free. This culture has expedited these rapes every year” As a result number of murders after rapes has increased over the recent years, with victims either strangled to death, thrown out of a moving vehicle, hacked to death or cut into pieces.
According to Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF) number of child rapes has also increased. From 150 reported cases in 2013 to 501 cases within 10 months of 2017. Organisations such as ASK, Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association and Mahila Parishad blame the state for the rise of these horrendous crimes. Lengthy trail process and multiple adjournments hampers justice and empowers the perpetrators and as a result many go free.
They expressed that in these crimes the government should take strong intuitive with zero tolerance for such violence. Until then, horrendous crimes of rapes and gang rapes will continue to rise in the sub continents including Bangladesh.
In the recent case of Tahiya Islam the case continues but the investigations and judicial process is slow.
Like many other cases, there is fear that the perpetrators who are politically backed and from influential families may getaway with it.
The protest continues both in Bangladesh and abroad demanding justice for Tahiya. Online petition ‘Justice for Tahiya ‘ https://chng.it/kwXbTGBWp5
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Full details of the case of Tahiya Islam on my facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aklima.bibi
Sources: https://en.prothomalo.com/bangladesh/news/168786/Brutal-rape-on-the-rise cited 11/12/18
https://www.thedailystar.net/tags/killing-sohagi-jahan-tonu ( cited 11/12/18)