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Thursday, February 3, 2011
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Govt asked to explain failure to stop fatwa

HC gives Shariatpur admin 15 days to tell why it could not save life of 14-year-old rape victim

L-R: Mofiz Uddin and Joynal

The High Court yesterday ordered district officials in Shariatpur to explain why they failed to protect 14-year-old rape victim Hena from being whipped to death as per a fatwa on Monday.

The deputy commissioner, the superintendent of police of Shariatpur and the thana nirbahi officer of Naria upazila -- where the incident took place--will have to report to the HC in 15 days how it happened although the court (HC) had eight months ago declared fatwa illegal and a punishable offence.

In a suo moto rule, the HC directed them also to report what steps they have taken in this regard.

An HC bench comprised of Justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik and Justice Sheikh Md Zakir Hossain issued the rule following press reports on the killing of Hena.

The reports said Hena was raped by her 40-year-old relative Mahbub on Sunday. Next day, a fatwa was announced at a village arbitration that she must be given 100 lashes. She fell unconscious after nearly 80 lashes.

Fatally injured Hena was rushed to Naria health complex where she succumbed to her injuries.

Supreme Court lawyer Seema Zahur yesterday placed before the HC bench a press report on the incident on behalf of Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association.

Meanwhile, another HC bench yesterday directed the law enforcement agencies to submit a report to it within three weeks on what steps have been taken following this incident in the light of its judgement on extra-judicial punishment.

The bench comprised of Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain and Justice Nazrul Islam Talukder also ordered the information ministry to run a media campaign to create awareness among people against extra-judicial punishment.

The bench headed by Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain on July 8 last year delivered the verdict declaring illegal all kinds of extra-judicial punishment including those in the name of fatwa at local arbitrations.

Following three writ petitions, the court directed the authorities concerned to take punitive action against people involved in enforcing fatwa against women.

It also observed that infliction of brutal punishment including caning, whipping and beating at local salish [arbitration] by persons devoid of judicial authority constitutes violation of the constitutional rights.

Barristers Rabia Bhuiyan, Sara Hossain and Mahbub Shafique, and advocate KM Hafizul Alam, lawyers for the writ petitioners, yesterday placed the judgement to the bench following the incident involving Hena.

Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), a human rights watchdog, expressed deep concern and shock yesterday at the killing of teenage rape victim Hena.

It demanded punitive action against those who enforced fatwa concerning her.

The ASK called upon the government to take effective steps to stop recurrence of such incidents.

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I was appalled at what happened to the rape victim. Everyone involved in this illegal act --the one who gave the fatwa, the one who carried out the whipping and the rapist -- are all co-conspirators and should be given exemplary punishment. The government officials who did nothing should suspended and strong disciplinary actions need to be taken by the administration.

: Dr. Faisal M. rahman

The government and judiciary must take exemplary steps to ensure that the entire arbitration council is justly punished, as the act is an example where our great religion is misinterpreted and misused to suit culprits!

: Amer Chowdhury, London


  • Dhruba Chakaravrty
    Thursday, February 3, 2011 01:05 AM GMT+06:00 (262 weeks ago)

    Are we living in a primitive, uncultured, reckless society backed by some barbaric beliefs.I feel it is a double murder of an innocent girl of only 14 year old- she was rapped & then whipped to death. What a painful death!

    How about punishing those who declared the punishment & who raped the girl. What kind of local administration rules the area who failed to save a girl. When will this country change for better? I will be surprised if I can see it in my life time.

  • London Eye
    Thursday, February 3, 2011 01:16 AM GMT+06:00 (262 weeks ago)

    Will the Hon'ble Leader of Opposition care to make a statement on the matter since her meddling in muddy affairs were despicable and damaging ?

  • Thursday, February 3, 2011 03:29 AM GMT+06:00 (262 weeks ago)

    What kind of punishment awaits the monster who gave the fatwa and the devils that executed the fatwa and murdered the girl? Is the Government or the Court doing anything to prevent these devil from issuing fatwa? As a Canadian where personal freedom and the rule of law prevail, I can't even imagine that this kind of monstrosity can occur in any country. I'm deeply shocked and my heart is bleeding for the family.

  • sonny
    Thursday, February 3, 2011 03:44 AM GMT+06:00 (262 weeks ago)

    what was the punishment for 14-year Hena's 40-year old relative Mahbub?

  • mazid
    Thursday, February 3, 2011 03:50 AM GMT+06:00 (262 weeks ago)

    We have to know more about the rules of Islam, after knowing this, we will have to take a whether FATWA will stop or not.

  • Dr . Karim
    Thursday, February 3, 2011 04:47 AM GMT+06:00 (262 weeks ago)

    criminals in the name of religion protecting the stronger and punishing weaker people s in society. This is a fact and state law couldnot protect the vulnerable

  • Nasirullah Mridha,USA
    Thursday, February 3, 2011 04:29 AM GMT+06:00 (262 weeks ago)

    Most of the high court bench directive regarding public litigation never see the implementation.our supine suburban administration lack of performance is root cause of shot up the fatwa incident.if our administration play onlookers role may be one day we gonna witness any rape victim subjected stone to death which is prevailing in Iran,Afganistan and Pakistan.

  • afreen
    Thursday, February 3, 2011 07:43 AM GMT+06:00 (262 weeks ago)

    That is a very good step by high court. We want to see to the end of it. All the associates should be punished in such a hard way that they forget fatwa. Our Prime minister and home minister should take strong directive to punish them immediately to make our country a civilized one as soon as possible in every corner.

  • AFG
    Thursday, February 3, 2011 07:55 AM GMT+06:00 (262 weeks ago)

    I cannot stop tears after reading it. This is extreme brutality. No consideration of the killers from death penalty. If in our country fatwa can judge in one day and kill someone as punishment illegally, then why the legal justice takes so many days to active punishment against crime? What is the use of this laws, rules then...If this case and all other stalking case related to death is not punished immediately Govt definitely going to loose the support of public.

  • Mayen Uddin Tazim, former Advisor, UNDP
    Thursday, February 3, 2011 09:16 AM GMT+06:00 (262 weeks ago)

    The nation is shocked by observing such incident which has been imposing on the women especially adolescent who are being raped by force. Consequently, the victims are tortured brutally in the name of 'Fatwa 'in which the main accused persons are not given exemplary punishment. The nation desires that Government should impose stalwart law on those culprits.

  • Kazi Firoz
    Thursday, February 3, 2011 09:34 AM GMT+06:00 (262 weeks ago)

    This news came out in BBC world wide as broad Asian News. This news makes Bangladeshi people ashamed to the other nations. People of other nations respect Bangladesh as a moderate Muslim country but this sort of News is giving them chances to misunderstand that Bangladesh is also like Pakistan where ancient Arabic and African Beduwin uncivilized ideologies are practised. There should not be any imam in any sort of Mosque in village or city without government proposed training certificate. The imam who did this crime did from the sense of Shariah law but the imam is not aware that there are many Shariah law came from the uncivilized Beduwin societies. This is why, there should be government led-training institutes to train the imams as to make them aware of the darkness parts of ancient uncivilized Beduwin and Wahabi of Arab and Africa.





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