herald

Monday 26 February 2018

Gang rape victim dies of organ failure

A young Indian woman who was gang-raped and severely beaten on a bus in New Delhi died last night at a hospital in Singapore.

The 23-year-old victim "died peacefully," according to a statement by Singapore's Mount Elizabeth hospital where she was being treated.

The woman's horrific ordeal galvanized Indians, who have held almost daily demonstrations to demand greater protection from sexual violence, from groping to rape, which impacts thousands of women every day, but which often goes unreported.

She and a male friend were traveling in a public bus on December 16 when they were attacked by six men who raped her and beat them both. They also stripped both naked and threw them off the bus on a road.

The attack two weeks ago brought new focus on police and community attitudes toward woman in India. Demonstrators in New Delhi have demanded stronger protections for women and stronger punishment for rapists.

Indian authorities have been accused of belittling rape victims and refusing to file cases against their attackers, further deterring victims - already under societal pressure to keep the assaults quiet - from reporting the crimes.

After 10 days at a New Delhi hospital, the victim was flown to Singapore on Thursday for treatment at the Mount Elizabeth hospital, which specializes in multi-organ transplant. Media reports have said that her assailants beat her and inserted an iron rod into her body during the assault, resulting in severe organ damage.

But by late last night, the young woman's condition had "taken a turn for the worse" and her vital signs had deteriorated with indications of severe organ failure, a surgeon said.

hnews@herald.ie

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