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Bangladesh

Two arrested after publicly-flogged woman dies

The woman died of her injuries a month after she was sentenced to 40 lashes, following allegations she had engaged in an affair with her step-son.

TWO PEOPLE HAVE been arrested in connection with the death of a woman in Bangladesh after she was publicly caned for allegedly having an affair with her stepson.

Forty-year-old Sufia Begum was sentenced to 40 lashes for adultery by a group of villagers and clerics, the BBC reports. Her family says that she died a month later from her injuries.

Earlier this year, such punishments – which are based on religious edicts known as fatwas – were outlawed in Bangladesh. Begum is believed to be the first person to have died under such circumstances since the new law came into effect.

An investigating officer told the BBC that village elders tied 10 canes together to beat the woman, according to the information they have received. Local police have arrested two people, including one woman, and are looking for a further four.

Begum was brought to hospital in Rajshahi city a week after the beating, suffering from severe injuries. She was so badly wounded, doctors told her family to bring her to Dhaka for further treatment.

However her brother, Taimur Rahman, told reporters that he could not afford to bring her to Dhakar and she died on 14 December. “Her body was swollen and I couldn’t even recognise her,” he said.

Bangladesh is predominately Muslim – with 90 per cent of its estimated 160 million population practicing Islam. Most are religiously moderate.

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