Monday, April 12, 2010

URGENT ACTION:5 year old girl who was brutally raped on the 12th of March in a small village in the Narail

REFERENCE: BIHR/UA/Norail/02/04/10                              Date:12.04.10

Justice (Rtd) Amirul Kabir Chowdhury
Bangladesh National Human Rights Commission
House # 6/3, Block # D, Lalmatia, Dhaka
Fax: 088-02-9137743

Greetings from Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR)

I am deeply concerned about the news received by Global Human Rights Defence( GHRD) about a 5 year old girl who was brutally raped on the 12th of March in a small village in the Narail District at 1.30 a.m.

According to the information I have  received,  the girl was abducted, raped and nearly strangled to death by a 27- year old Muslim man, known from before to have harassed women and children in the locality.  The child was going outside to visit the toilet, when she was abducted and taken to a nearby paddy field where the identified perpetrator brutally raped her. The child’s mouth was covered with a
cloth during the rape hindering her to scream for help.  The perpetrator also tried to kill her after the rape by strangulation, but he was interrupted when the parents of the girl, together with some locals, approached the spot causing him to flee the scene.  The girl was found bleeding in the field with severe injuries as a result of the rape. The child was admitted to the Khulna Medical College Hospital (OCC) were she was treated from the 14th until the 25th of March. The medical certificate prescribed by the co-coordinator of the OCC confirmed that the girl was sexually assaulted.

GHRD has contacted the local police, visited the village and obtained statements from the girl and witnesses. The father filed a complaint at the 13th of March at the Noldi police station, however the police only made a general diary of the case. When GHRD urged them to undertake proper actions, a case was filed on the 15th of March charging the suspect for rape. The man was arrested on the 13th of March and is now in jail custody. The lawyer of the perpetrator filed an application asking for bail, which was denied on the 4th of April.  The case is classified as a rape under section 9(1) of Women and Children Repression Act, 2003.

I am shocked and appalled about this brutal rape against a 5 year old child.  It is particularly disturbing that this is not an isolated event, but despite legislations such as the Women and Children Repression Act, 2003, aimed at protecting children, a high percentage of rape victims in Bangladesh remain children.  Due to social practices, stigma, corruption and denied access to justice, in many of these cases the perpetrators are not brought to justice and the victim is denied essential compensation and rehabilitation.  Families and victims are often threatened by the perpetrators and their allies to withdraw their complaints. Therefore, I encourage the local authorities to continue with the legal process and investigations in this case, and to ensure compensation and rehabilitation is meted to
the girl child.

Specifically, I urge upon the local authorities:

1.      to ensure the exemplary punishment of the perpetrator responsible for this brutal rape

2.      to ensure that the victim receives the necessary legal assistance and medical rehabilitation as required for a full recovery.

3.      to provide adequate financial compensation to the victim’s family as well as guarantee the physical and psychological integrity with full rehabilitation to the family as a whole throughout the legal process.

I trust that immediate action shall be taken and we look forward to your favorably response in this regard.

Thank you.

Yours Sincerely.

Shahanur Islam

Shahanur Islam Saikot
LL.B (Hon's); LL.M (Law & Justice)

Executive Director
Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR)
Flat # B-17, 27, Bijoy Nagar, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh
Cell: + 88 017 20308080, Ph: +88 02 9349851, Fax: + 88 028352166,
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