Rumana Monzur, the University of British Columbia student who was blinded in a brutal attack in Bangladesh in June, says reports of her former husband’s death have come as a shock.
“I don’t have much information to comment on the situation but it was shocking news to me,” Ms. Monzur said in an e-mail distributed to media through a UBC liaison.
“The last six months have been very difficult for me and this news has not made my situation any easier. My focus continues to be on my recovery and taking care of my daughter and my family. I won’t be speaking publicly on this development because I am not comfortable given the lack of information.”
Bangladeshi news outlets reported the death of Hasan Sayeed Sumon on Monday.
At 4 a.m. his cellmate summoned a guard and said he had gone to the toilet a long time earlier and not come back; the guard went to the toilet and found him dead – according to a prison guard who spoke to the Daily Star, a Dhaka newspaper.
A postmortem has been conducted and results will be released in about four days. The suspected cause of death is a heart attack.
His family is calling it a suspicious death, saying they were told there were rope marks found on his wrist in the post mortem and that he was not suicidal. Mr. Sumon had been staying in the medical wing of the prison.
Ms. Monzur is on medical leave from her studies at UBC. She enrolled last year as a graduate student at UBC and was attacked in June in Bangladesh, where she had returned to visit her family. In the attack, allegedly committed by her husband, her eyes were gouged.
She returned to Vancouver in July in the hopes that specialists here could restore her vision. But the damage to her eyes was too severe to be repaired.
UBC co-ordinated a fundraising campaign to cover Ms. Monzur’s living and medical expenses and Ms. Monzur has said she hopes to complete her studies.
With a report from Stephanie Nolen in Delhi