A court in southern Bangladesh has sentenced 16 people to death over the murder of a student who was set on fire after she accused a teacher at an Islamic seminary of sexual harassment.
The ruling by a special women and children’s tribunal on Monday came seven months after 19-year-old Nusrat Jahan Rafi’s murder.
Rafi died from burn wounds in April after she was doused in kerosene and set alight for refusing to withdraw a sexual harassment complaint against the principal of the Sonagazi Islamia Senior Fazil Madrasa where she was a student.
Siraj Ud Doula, the head teacher, was among the 16 sentenced to death.
Speaking a day before the verdict was due, Mahmudul Hasan Noman, Rafi’s brother, called for “maximum punishment” against the suspects as 12 of the 16 accused had confessed to the crime.
AKM Musa Manik, Rafi’s father, said he hoped to get justice.
“The whole country had seen what happened to my daughter. She was an innocent girl and was brutally murdered for her strong stance against a wrongdoing.”
Rafi’s killing sparked protests across Bangladesh, prompting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to vow legal action in the case.
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