SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A Bangladeshi teen slain this month after she made sexual assault allegations against the headmaster of her Islamic school was remembered with a moment of silence Tuesday at a San Francisco professional women’s business conference.
The 30th annual Professional Businesswomen of California Conference featured talks by Hollywood superstar Nicole Kidman, U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier and San Francisco Mayor London Breed, but it was a moment of silence held near the end of the day that garnered the most attention.
Nusrat Jahan Rafi, an 18-year-old Bangladeshi woman, publicly accused the headmaster of her Islamic school of inappropriately touching her in his office. She took her complaint to the local authorities — an unheard of action in her tiny, conservative village of Feni, located about 100 miles southeast of the country’s capital, Dhaka.
Her action drew threats and sparked protests.
So when she returned to school for her final exams in early April, she was confronted by classmates who demanded she retract her statements. When she refused, she was held down while kerosene was poured over her and she was lit on fire.
Nusrat lingered in the hospital with burns over 80 percent of her body, but the injuries proved to be too much and she died on April 10th.
According to the BBC, Bangladeshi authorities have arrested 15 people. Investigators continue to piece together what happened as street protests and calls for justice have grown louder.
The BBC further reported that as Nusrat was being transported to the hospital, she recorded a message on her brother’s cellphone.
“The teacher touched me,” she said. “I will fight this crime ’till my last breath.”