The family of Vogue cover model Raudha Athif says they believe she was murdered by Islamic extremists for not wearing proper Islamic clothing. Athif was found dead by hanging in her dormitory on March 29 in what the family is convinced was a staged suicide.
The 21-year-old with aspirations to be a doctor appeared on Vogue India’s cover in October for their “Beauty in Diversity” issue.
Raudha Athif is featured on the left.
An autopsy ruled Athif’s death a suicide, though the family, including the girl’s brother and father, have vehemently rejected the claim.
The student’s brother, Rayyan Athif, told The Sun that his sister was a target for extremists. Weeks prior to her death, Athif allegedly told Rayyan that “someone had slipped sleeping pills into her drink.”
“There have been a series of murders in Bangladesh which have been staged to look like suicides and Islamic extremists have been suspected to be behind these atrocities,” said Rayyan.
“Her style of clothing was branded as immodest and un-Islamic even though she adhered to the dress code in the college premises by wearing a veil covering her face,” he added.
“But she was criticised for wearing jeans and was repeatedly told she couldn’t wear it at the Muslim college – which has a lot of extremist connections and support. Other students have also been subjected to this type of bullying.”
Mohamed Athif, the girl’s father, wrote via Twitter, “Maldivian medical student and my daughter Raudha Athif did not commit suicide. She was murdered at her hostel room. I have the facts.”
Moreover, the autopsy accounted for the suspicious marks on the girl’s neck as “birthmarks,” thought her family contends she had no such birthmarks.
According to Bangladesh’s Rajshahi Metropolitan Police, there is a “50 per cent chance that she did not commit suicide.”
The young girl told Vogue that she had dreams of becoming a doctor and only viewed modeling as a hobby.