Gang rape victim dies in Pakistan after setting herself ablaze

A teenage victim of a gang rape in Pakistan died Friday morning, a day after she set herself on fire in front of a police station.

The young woman, a college student, self-immolated to protest the release of a man arrested in connection with her attack, her brother told Reuters.

“She was already depressed after going through the trauma, but after the release of the accused, she lost all hope of getting justice and set herself on fire,” Ghulam Shabir said.

Reuters and Dawn, a Pakistani newspaper, confirmed that Amini Bibi, 18, died Friday morning.

Four men attacked her Jan. 5 while she was on her way home from college. Police charged one man, but then released him. There was no explanation given for the police decision.

“It seems the case had not been properly investigated,” senior police officer Chaudhry Asghar told Reuters Friday.

On Thursday, she set herself on fire outside a police station near the city of Muzaffargarh in the eastern province of Punjab. A bystander captured the self-immolation on video.

“She was under our treatment but she succumbed to her wounds on Friday morning,” Muhammad Usman, a local doctor, told Reuters.

Rapes, and particularly gang rapes, have received an unprecedented amount of publicity in the past two years in Pakistan and India, countries historically averse to publicizing them.

A New Delhi court on Thursday confirmed the death penalty imposed by a lower court on four men convicted in the gang rape and murder of a young woman on a moving bus in 2012.

That crime caused a national outcry. India passed a law last year that set harsher punishment for rapes and for the first time recognized stalking and sexual harassment as crimes.

But sexual assaults remain common.

 

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Fred Barbash, the editor of Morning Mix, is a former National Editor and London Bureau Chief for the Washington Post.
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