UPDATE: Bangladeshi girl, 14, dies after 100 lashes
By FARLHA KARIM - GUARDIAN
Updated: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 08:15:20 UTC
UPDATE (Feb 11th) Three doctors are being investigated by authorities in Bangladesh after they claimed to have found no signs of injury in the postmortem examination of a teenage girl who was whipped to death under a fatwa.
Hena Akhter, 14, died in hospital 11 days ago after she was sentenced to 101 lashes by village elders and clerics who alleged she had been having an affair with her married cousin.
After a postmortem at her district hospital, doctors in Shariatpur, around 60km south of the capital, Dhaka, said they could find no signs of injury.
But Hena's body was exhumed on Tuesday night on orders from the High Court, and a second autopsy concluded that she had died from internal bleeding and septicaemia caused by wounds "of a homicidal nature" on her scalp, abdomen, back, chest, arms and legs.
At the High Court, Justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury ordered the ministry of health to investigate the three doctors who carried out the first postmortem on suspicion of medical negligence, raising the possibility that they had been pressed into suppressing signs of injuries.
PREVIOUS STORY (Feb 3rd) Four people have been arrested in Bangladesh after the death of a 14-year-old girl who was given 100 lashes on the orders of a village cleric.
Mosammet Hena died in hospital on Sunday after being beaten with a bamboo cane for allegedly having an illicit relationship with a married cousin. A complaint had been made against her by the man's wife, Shilpi Begum, at a makeshift village court, or shalish, presided over by senior community members.
Begum has now been arrested on suspicion of murder alongside three villagers including imam Mofiz Uddin, who allegedly issued the edict. Another 14 villagers who are accused of taking part in the public lashing, or of being complicit in the girl's murder by failing to prevent her from being whipped, are still being hunted by police.
"What sort of justice is this? My daughter has been beaten to death in the name of justice," Mosammet's father, Dorbesh Khan, 60, told the BBC.
Nick Cohen - The Spectator Comments
To be a racist in Britain, you do not need to cover yourself in tattoos and join a neo-Nazi party. You can wear well-made shirts, open at the neck, appreciate fine wines and vote Left at election time.
Brendan O'Neill - The Telegraph Comments
The rebranding of circumcision as 'child abuse' echoes the ugly anti-Semitism of medieval Europe
AFP - - Comments
Circumcising young boys on religious grounds amounts to grievous bodily harm, a German court ruled
Katherine Stewart, R. Elisabeth... Comments
Religious Extremism In Public Schools: R. Elisabeth Cornwell & Sean Faircloth interviews author Katherine Stewart
NBC News - MNSBC Comments
A Roman Catholic church official was convicted Friday of child endangerment but acquitted of conspiracy in a groundbreaking clergy-abuse trial
Katherine Stewart - The Guardian 36 Comments
How Christian fundamentalists plan to teach genocide to schoolchildren