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Health Acid Attack Victim Fakhra Yunus Commits Suicide

ht_fakhra_yunus_tk_120327_wmainPakistani acid victim Fakhra Yunus is seen before and after her attack in this undated video

GeoNews via YouTube

A woman who became the disfigured face of the shunned and forgotten women of Pakistan committed suicide, jumping from her sixth floor apartment window in Italy last week.

Fakhra Yunus was only 22 when her husband of three years, Bilal Khar, a member of Pakistan’s politically elite Khar family, allegedly threw acid on her face while she slept, the Asian Correspondent reported.

When Yunus and Khar met, she had been working as a prostitute, and the two soon married in 1998.

But almost immediately, Khar began abusing her, and Yunus suffered at his hands for nearly three years before she ran away, according to reports. Khar soon allegedly located and attacked her in 2000, but he has not been arrested and maintains his innocence.

The Washington Post noted that Yunus became the face of violence against women in the country after Pakistani activist Tehmina Durrani, author of “My Feudal Lord,” helped Yunus escape to Rome and get treatment for her disfigurement. Durrani is known to speak out against the injustices women face in Muslim society. Over the years, Yunus underwent 38 facial reconstructive and plastic surgeries after the attack.

Durrani wrote of Yunus in The News Daily, “I have met many acid victims. Never have I seen one as completely disfigured as Fakhra. She had not just become faceless; her body had also melted to the bone. Despite her stark and hopeless condition, the government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan was not in the least God-fearing. She was provided nothing…but disdain…and trashed.”

Acid attacks are prevalent in certain parts of Asia. According to the New York Times’ Nicholas D. Kristof, who reported in 2008 that attacks were then at an all-time high in Pakistan, they are often the work of husbands who attack their wives as a form of revenge for refusing sexual advances or other proposals.


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