Bangladesh President approves ordinance on capital punishment for rape Rapists
Easterntimes, Special Correspondent, Dhaka, 13 October: In the wake of a wave of protests over the recent spike in countrywide rape incidents, Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid has promulgated an ordinance increasing the maximum punishment in rape cases to death penalty from life imprisonment.
The president inked the ordinance under his constitutional powers at his Bangabhaban residence on Tuesday.
This comes just a day after the cabinet cleared the amendment to the Prevention of Women and Children Repression Act 2000.
On October 5, anti-rape demonstrations erupted across Bangladesh after video footage of five men stripping a woman naked and gang-raping her in Noakhali’s Begumganj upazila went viral on social media the day before.
The heinous incident took place at the Joykrishnapur village under Ekhlaspur union of Begumganj upazila in Noakhali on September 2.
According to Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), nearly 1,000 rape cases were reported between January and September this year, including 208 gang rapes.
Describing rapists as ‘beasts’, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said the government has to induct the death sentence in the relevant law to save girls from these beasts.
“The rapists are [like] beasts as they exhibit their inhumane nature affecting our girls … we’ve amended the law and included capital punishment for rape…we’ve cleared the amendment [proposal] in the cabinet,” she said.
As Parliament is not in session now, Sheikh Hasina said, the government is promulgating an ordinance to make the amendment effective. “It’s our aim to face any problem when it arises and resolve that,” she said.
The Prime Minister’s strong remarks came as protests against the growing incidents of rape, sexual harassment and violence against women are continuing in different parts of the country.