July 15, 1997 in Nation/World

Court Acquits Officers Of Raping Teenage Girl

Compiled From Wire Services

A court on Monday acquitted four policemen charged with raping a teenage girl who later died.

The 17-year-old garment worker was allegedly gang-raped last October in a police station in Chittagong, 135 miles southeast of Dhaka, the capital.

She had been detained by police who suspected her of being a prostitute, but was never charged. Four months later, the girl died from bleeding en route from jail to a hospital.

In his ruling Monday, a judge in Chittagong said he did not find enough evidence to convict the policemen.

“The government did not work to gather evidence,” said Farida Akthar, a spokeswoman for an alliance of women’s rights groups. “This verdict will make women in Bangladesh more vulnerable to violence.”

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