Campaigners in Pakistan say cases of acid attacks are increasing in most areas, even though tougher penalties were introduced last year. An Oscar-winning Pakistani documentary has put the crime under the spotlight, but it is estimated that more than 150 women have acid thrown on them every year – usually by husbands or in-laws – and many never get justice. The BBC’s Orla Guerin reports.
Her name is Shama, meaning “candle”, and she says her husband burnt her flesh as if it was a candlewick.
The young mother of four has just joined the ranks of Pakistani women doused in acid. She is scarred for life, with burns on 15% of her body. Her crime was her beauty.
“My husband and I often had arguments in the house,” she said, in her hospital bed. “On that day before going to sleep he said ‘you take too much pride in your beauty’. Then in the middle of the night he threw acid on me, and ran away.”