Pakistan Outrage Erupts After Acid Victim Suicide

Fakhra Younas' plight shone light on terrible Pakistani problem
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2012 2:34 AM CDT
Updated Apr 10, 2012 2:51 AM CDT
Pakistan Outrage Erupts After Acid Victim Suicide
A Pakistani former dancing girl, Fakhra Younas, leapt to her death from a sixth floor building in Rome 12 years after an acid attack.   (JasonPreazReviews)

After 38 surgeries in 10 years as doctors battled to rebuild Fakhra Younas' face after an acid attack by a Pakistani man, Younas committed suicide in Rome last month. Her death has ignited a new outrage in a nation simmering with anger over one of Pakistan's most horrid social ills, reports the New York Times. “It was a bad time for her because of a lot of things,” said her son.

Acid attacks are usually carried out by vindictive men against women, and the figures are on the rise in Pakistan, reaching 150 last year, up from 65 in 2010. Pakistan won its first Academy Award this year, for a documentary about acid attacks called Saving Face, which brought new attention to the subject. As for Younas, though, her ex-husband was acquitted of being involved in the attack in 2003, and she missed home after living most of the past decade in Rome as surgeons tried to restore her face. “She gave up on justice,” said an activist involved in her case. “She gave up on the fact that she could ever come back. She knew how she would be treated.” (More Fakhra Younas stories.)

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