Suicide notes: Gang rape victim sets herself on fire

Mehreen wrote that women in the neighbourhood told her that she ought to ‘kill herself out of shame’.

Hussain Ahmed September 04, 2011


A woman, who was gang raped, set herself on fire on Saturday.

According to villagers in Degwal, a young girl Mehreen was raped by three youths after being abducted from her house on August 8. “She was taken from the fields where she was cutting fodder for the animals. She was there with her brother-in-law when the landlords’ servants abducted her,” said a neighbour Laiba Bibi.

“We took her to the hospital and they issued a medical report stating the girl had been gang raped,” she added.

According to Mehreen’s suicide note, she was being taunted and abused by women in the village. “They told me that I was damaged and that after what happened to me I should never again be allowed to walk in the streets of the village. They told me that I had brought dishonor on my family,” Mehreen had written. She said that this was when she decided to sprinkle petrol over herself and set herself on fire. “I want to bring an end to my family’s misery as well as my own,” she said.

“They all said that if I had any self respect I should kill myself out of shame,” she added.

Mehreen was taken to Allied Hospital Faisalabad but she succumbed to her burn injuries.

“She came to us with over 90 percent burns to her body and died a few moments later,” said a hospital nurse.

Mehreen’s family told reporters that after the incident they had filed a case with the Shahpur Saddar police. Police officials have already arrested two accused Liaqat and Shabbir and sent them to jail on judicial remand. The third unidentified accused is still at large.

“The case is being tried in court and we are searching for the third accused,” investigation in-charge Muhammad Iqbal said.

Mehreen’s family said that she had been receiving death threats from several people in the village.

“The landlord also threatened us to withdraw the case and we eventually had to seek police protection. My daughter was engaged to be married but the family broke off the engagement when they heard what had happened,” Mehreen’s father Hashim said.

The names of the victim and her family have been changed to protect her identity.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2011.


Beth | 12 years ago | Reply

@Kimberly: Usually the rapists are not called that, they are not prosecuted which is why this violence still exists, and if someone is taken into custody, they are usually treated like kings by other inmates. Its not only done in the middle east as its reared its ugly head in the states as well as the UK. While our countries prosecute this, it still happens. Indias gvmnt is trying to crack down, and it looks as if Turkey is following suit, it will take longer for the small and very rural and uneducated tribes who condone this behavior to change the outlooks. Women are rising up there and with growing international concern and intervention, hopefully this will be a dark stain on their history books soon. In that part of the world, men and family honour are all tied up with womens behavior and their ability to control them. Really,it comes down to severe phobia regarding womens sexuality. Disgusting, and not only done by Muslims, or Islam. Please dont be fooled by that. It has been done to Muslims as well by other non Muslims.

Kimberly | 12 years ago | Reply

I just can't fathom how other women can put the blame for being raped on the girl. Don't they realize that it could easily have been them who gets raped? I don't understand how any society can blame the rape victim, and treat her like this. It's sick, sick, sick. A terrible thing was done to her, at no fault of her own, and SHE should be the one to be ashamed? It' blows my mind. Why is her, and her family's, honor based on the actions of criminals who victimized them? I know I'm not from the Middle East, so the societial customs are hard for me to relate to....but i just don't understand the concept of a rape VICTIM bring shame onto herself and her family for being attacked. I don't understand how any human being can buy into that frame of thought...let alone fellow females!

Can I ask a question? (hopefully someone will be kind enough to answer me on here) How does society treat the rapists? Are they also shunned and told they should kill themselves for bringing dishonor on themselves and their families? Do they and their families generally receive death threats and harrassment too? Does having a rapist in the family bring dishonor to that family, or is it only the rape victim that brings dishonor?

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ