Death Penalty in Bangladesh for 16 Who Set Student on Fire

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A Bangladesh court has sentenced 16 people to death for the murder of a student set on fire after accusing her teacher of sexual harassment.

Nusrat Jahan Rafi, 19, died in April in Feni, a small town some 160km outside the capital Dhaka.

She was lured to her school's rooftop on April 6 this year, 11 days after she reported her teacher to the police for repeatedly touching her inappropriately.

Nusrat was then surrounded by four or five people wearing burqas, pressuring her to withdraw her complaint. When she refused, she was doused in kerosene and set on fire.

According to police, they had hoped to make it look like a suicide. Instead, she managed to escape and get help.

The teacher Nusrat had accused of harassment and two female classmates were among those convicted.

Her murder shocked the country and led to a series of protests demanding justice for Nusrat.

The trial has been one of the quickest in a country where such cases usually take years to conclude. Prosecutor Hafez Ahmed told reporters that it proved that nobody will get away with murder in Bangladesh.

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Timothy Omondi