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Monday, October 22, 2007
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Women's group slates attack on Brac teacher by husband in NY

Bangladesh Mahila Parishad yesterday strongly condemned the recent physical and sexual assault on Brac University lecturer Nadine Murshid by her husband Sajid Huq in New York, where he is a student at Columbia University.

Sajid was arrested in New York late September for sexually abusing and physically assaulting Nadine, who is currently fighting for her life.

In a statement released yesterday, the parishad said Sajid's father has been harassing the Murshid family by filing false cases against them and issuing threats in order to pressure the Murshid family into dropping the charges against Sajid in New York.

The parishad statement, signed by 21 prominent women's rights leaders, strongly condemned the incident and urged the government and concerned ministries to ensure punishment of the perpetrator, proper treatment of the victim and security of the Murshid family.

"We are very shocked at the incident. We, on behalf of women and rights organisations, strongly condemn and protest the incident," the statement read.

The parishad, quoting a New York Post article, said Sajid sexually abused and brutally assaulted Nadine on September 23, leaving her with heavy blood loss and severe bruises on her face.

New York Police Department (NYPD) arrested Sajid following a complaint lodged in this regard.

Nadine and Sajid married in August 2007 and went to the US after marriage.

Bangladesh Mahila Parishad said Sajid's father initially mounted pressure on the Murshid family for an out-of-court settlement. Following the Murshid family's refusal, he filed false cases and issued threats.

The statement adds that the Murshid family is currently living in insecurity following the threats.

The statement signatories include Hena Das, Ayesha Khanam and advocate Masuda Rehana Rosi of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, Hamida Hossain and Sultana Kamal of Ain o Salish Kendra, Shaheen Anam of Manusher Jonno, Khushi Kabir of Nijera Kori, Shirin Akhtar of Karmajibi Nari, Sharmin Murshid of Brotee, barrister Sara Hossain, Shirin Haq, Ferdous Azim and Shamsunnahar of Naripakkho, cultural activist and actress Sara Zaker, Salma Ali of Bangladesh Women Lawyers' Association, Rokeya Kabir of Nari Pragati Sangha, Faustina Pereira of Brac, advocates Umme Habibunnesa, Aroma Dutt of Prip Trust, Dr Naila Khan and Dr Yasmin Haq of Shahjalal Science and Technology University.

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