Burned to Death for Reporting Her Headmaster

19-year-old Nusrat Jahan Rafi was burned to death in Bangladesh after she reported her school’s headmaster for sexual harassment, police say.

Rafi's complaint had “shaken up all of the social, political, and religious conventions in her hometown;” the gruesome attack sparked countrywide protest and debate around sexual misconduct, The Washington Post reports. Male students and local politicians rallied in support of the accused teacher.

In a leaked video, a police chief says Rafi’s complaint is “not a big deal”—yet the headmaster was arrested. Days later, when Rafi refused to withdraw her complaint, “She was doused in kerosene and set on fire,” AFP reports, by attackers—including some of Rafi’s classmates—who were later arrested. At least one said the headmaster orchestrated the murder.

Before she died from her injuries, Rafi doubled down: “The teacher touched me,” she said in a video. “I will fight this crime till my last breath.”


 

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