07/21/2009, 00.00
BANGLADESH

Bangladesh, a minor pregnant after rape: beaten and forced to marry her torturer

by William Gomes
For months, the imam of a village in the district of Faridpur abused the girl, who did not denounce the man for "fear and shame." The young girl is seventh months pregnant, a premature birth is likely. The local council has condemned both to 101lashes with a cane.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) – The victim of repeated rapes who has become pregnant is being forced by local leaders to marry the man who abused her and sentenced to a beating for the "crime" committed. This is the story of a teenager in the village of Char Padma in Faridpur district of central Bangladesh.

Omar Faruk is a teacher from the "Maktab", the village Islamic school. The imam has long abused the minor, taking advantage of the position of prestige within the local community. The girl is in the seventh month of pregnancy, her physical and mental health are not good, and she risks a premature birth.

 

For several months she hid the violence and pregnancy, for fear and shame. When her belly started to grow, the news spread throughout the village. On July 18 last the Arbitration Council met, consisting of a group of experts led by Fazlur Rahman Fazal, to discuss the matter and issue a verdict. The meeting ended with a conviction of 101 lashings a head for the young girl and the imam, author of the violence.

Local sources revealed that both have already received 25 beatings, pursuant to the decision. The girl will even have to marry her torturer, who has two previous marriages behind him. In Bangladesh, women are often victims of violence and abuse, most of which goes unpunished. AsiaNews in recent years has repeatedly documented instances of women and young girls raped, disfigured, victims of family feuds, excluded because they convert to Christianity and repudiated by their family.

In recent weeks, Annie Halder, a Catholic activist, denounced a continued growth in the instances of violence, especially against "anyone who decides to convert to Christianity”. Among others, the woman recalled the case of Christina Gomez Goni, "killed by extremists" for apostasy.

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