Hackney family horror over images of butchered relative’s body on internet

Sheela Ali, 31, says family are distraught after Rehana Begum's murder in Bangladesh

Sheela Ali, 31, says family are distraught after Rehana Begum's murder in Bangladesh - Credit: Archant

The family of a woman hacked to death on holiday have spoken about their distress after a photo of her massacred body was published on the internet.

Rehanan Begum, 43, was butchered to death by jealous relatives in Bangladesh

Rehanan Begum, 43, was butchered to death by jealous relatives in Bangladesh - Credit: Archant

Rehana Begum, 43, was killed last Friday on a trip to Bangladesh where she was visiting her mother, who is in her 80s and suffering from ill health.


But after two weeks, her trip to Palti, in the Sunamgonj province, turned to unimaginable horror when she was fatally attacked by five men wielding machetes.

Her cousin Sheela Ali, 33, of Barnabas Road, Homerton, said she has since been told the attack was motivated by envy of Ms Begun’s perceived luxurious life in the UK.

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She said: “People think if you go from England to Bangladesh, you are wealthy. They were jealous of her.

“It was well-planned and took place during Friday prayers when there were no men around and she was vulnerable.

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“Now the family are even more distressed after pictures of her butchered body have been spread on Facebook. I don’t know how anybody can post pictures like that.”

The horrific incident took place after Ms Begum had taken her son Rakib to swim at a local pool. An older sister saw men wielding machetes approaching and told Ms Begum to run for her life – but she slipped and fell before being brutally attacked.

The killers then struck her sister over the head with machetes, and she only regained consciousness two days later.

Ms Begum’s niece tried to stop the attackers but her hand was cut off during the bloody attack.

Mrs Ali said she was struggling to sleep. She said: “It’s not a nice way to lose somebody. It’s awful. I haven’t been able to sleep since Friday.

“I’m going every day to her sister’s house as I’m close to the family.”

The nursery teaching assistant, who works close to Hackney Marshes, said that the family is also very concerned over Ms Begum’s son’s welfare, saying: “I know when a child loses a loved one they need reassurance and it’s hard for them to build close relations at that age.

“Her little boy is always going to remember how she died and how defenceless she was.

“He is devastated. He’s been calling his auntie three times a day. He wants his mum’s killers brought to justice.”

One of Ms Begum’s sisters lives in Stepney and will help care for her son as his father was left paralysed by a stroke a few years ago.

Mrs Ali said the Bangladeshi community had been devastated by the slaying and added: “The murder has shocked the whole community. It’s one of the first incidents that have taken place in which a woman has been killed.

“I have had so many calls from people I don’t know. Hundreds of people turned out to pray for her last Friday.”

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