Bangladesh whipping case: three doctors investigated for claiming murdered teenage girl had no signs of injury
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. “There is a world of difference between these two reports,” he told Shariatpur civil surgeon, Mohammad Sarwar. “Your postmortem report showed no injuries. The second one is full of injuries. If this is shown to the court, will anyone be punished? No. You are playing with the law and with people’s lives.”