Ensure justice for Rumana
More than 100 women's rights activists, academics and professionals have demanded justice for Rumana Manzur, who lost her eyesight in a brutal attack by her husband.
In a statement yesterday, they condemned the deliberate attempts by some media to misconstrue the fact of the attack and influence the case against the assaulter.
Rumana, an assistant professor of International Relations Department at Dhaka University, sustained severe injuries as her husband Hasan Sayeed Sumon pushed his fingers into her eyes on June 5.
She is now being treated at LabAid Hospital in the city.
Signatories of the statement include Hameeda Hossain, Khushi Kabir, Sara Hossain, Gitiara Nasreen, Zafrullah Chowdhury, Amena Mohsin, Salma Khan, Rokeya Kabir, Sara Zaker, Sadeka Halim, Rahnuma Ahmed, Habibun Nessa, Shireen Huq, Anu Muhammad, Sonia Amin, Imtiaz Ahmed, Mohuya Leya Falia, Naila Zaman Khan, Salma Ali, Kaberi Gayen, Farida Akhter and Moshrefa Mishu.
They said the allegation of infidelity brought against Rumana by Sumon is an attempt to divert attention from the attack and put the blame on the victim.
"Even though accusations of infidelity to justify violence against women have no place in law, women tolerate violence for fear of such allegations, which allows the perpetrators to continue the violence with impunity," the statement said, adding that a woman's fidelity or character is immaterial to the prosecution of a case of violence.
The attack against Rumana constitutes a grievous crime and the prosecution should take into account not just the physical injuries to her, but also the psychological harm that she, her daughter and parents have suffered.
They said the incident provides all those committed to combat violence against women, be it by strangers or by the loved ones, an opportunity to come together and strengthen the voice against such violence.