A Pakistani teenager and school teacher was burned alive after she rejected a marriage proposal. Maria Abbasi died Wednesday from the injuries that she sustained at the hands of five Pakistani men. Reports are conflicting as to the identities of the man behind her murder. According to the Daily Times, one of the teenager's attackers was a co-worker who had proposed. The Daily Mail, however, reports that the Pakistani teenager had rejected the proposal of the co-worker's son, and that it was the father that arranged for her to be violently burned alive.
Eighty-five percent of the Pakistani teenager's body was covered in burns when she succumbed to her injuries.
According to authorities, the horrific, almost unimaginable attack on the Pakistani teenager took place on Monday night, when the rest of her family was out of town attending a funeral. Maria was home alone with her 5-year-old sister. According to her uncle, Rafaqat Abbasi, the Pakistani teenager was babysitting. The teenager's uncle went on to tell the press about the inconceivable moment when the family heard that she had been injured.
"At the funeral her family was alerted that she 'was on fire.' Initially they thought was there had been some sort of accident, perhaps a pipe had burst or something."But the Pakistani teenager's terrible injuries had been no accident. According to reports, she was attacked in her own home. The five men reportedly ambushed Maria as she watched her young sister. They brutally beat her, doused her with gasoline, and burned her alive.
When the suspects fled the scene of the brutality, the Pakistani teen was still alive.
When the Pakistani teen's family found her, she was lying on the floor, near death and in indescribable agony.
The Pakistani teenager was taken to the hospital by ambulance, but first her desperate family members had to get her to the awaiting emergency vehicle. According to her uncle, Maria had to be carried to the closest road, because their village of Davel, located outside Murree in northeastern Pakistan, is so rural that it doesn't have proper access roads for ambulances.
"There is no direct major road that passes through the village. We had to carry Maria on a chair to the closest road to get her to an ambulance."As CNN reports, the ambulance transported the badly burned Pakistani teen to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences to receive treatment for her ultimately fatal burns. The hospital was roughly 30 miles from the teenager's home, and it was there that the young woman passed away from the injuries she sustained as a result of a jilted man's wounded pride.
Social media erupted with horror and disgust at the senseless, torturous murder.On Wednesday, three people were reportedly arrested in connection with the Pakistani teenager's murder. According to Punjab police spokesman Nabeela Ghazanfar, an arrest warrant has been issued for a fourth suspect. There has been no word regarding whether any of the men arrested was the man the Pakistani teenager refused to marry.
Pakistan is notorious for violence against women, reports the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Much of the cycle of violence that Pakistani women face can be attributed to the prevalence of the Islamic religion in the country, a religion that demands that women fully submit to men. Just last week, Pakistan made headlines for the demeaning, abusive way that the nation's women are treated. That was when the Council of Islamic Ideology, which counsels and advises the Pakistani government in matters both legal and theological, released a report that said that it was okay (and even advisable) for men to "lightly beat" their wives for disobedience.
The commission's report also stresses that even when crimes against Pakistani women are reported to authorities, prosecution and conviction rates are appallingly low, and in many cases it is members of the law enforcement community committing the crimes.
We can only hope that Pakistan's admittedly misogynistic laws provide some kind of appropriate justice for Maria Abbasi, the Pakistani teenager and school teacher whose life was needlessly cut short in the most vile way imaginable when she was burned alive.
[Photo by Abbasi Family/Twitter]