Bangladesh is due to announce capital punishment for rape following a brutal incident of sexual assault of a 37-years-old woman which lead to massive public outcry.
Law minister Anisul Haq confirmed to the BBC the president will issue an ordinance making punishment a law on Tuesday.
Footage of a disturbing gang assault of a 37-years-old woman was widely shared on Bangladeshi social media last week, erupting public outrage and subsequent demand to introduce the death penalty for gang rapes in the nations.
All these happened when another case of gang-raping has already invoked outrage, and it involved the student wing politicians of Bangladesh’s ruling party – Awami League.
Eight men were reportedly arrested after the video went viral and an investigation by Bangladesh’s National Human Rights Commission found the women were raped repeatedly and terrorized.
hundreds and thousands of rape cases occur in Bangladesh each year, but the majority of them go unreported. Women and victims largely deter from lodging official complaints fearing societal stigmas.
But this incident has attracted unprecedented public attention and demand for stricter and more detterant way the law should handle such crimes agaisnt women.
The government has accepted the draft of the Women and Children Repression Prevention (Amendment) Bill, 2020 that would make capital punishment possible for rape and sexual assault.
Anyone found and proven guilty of rape could face death or “rigorous imprisonment for life” the draft of the bill says. Media reports noted this is the first time the Muslim-majority South Asian nation has witnessed protests on such a scale.
Until this law was passed capital punishment was only awarded to offenders when the victim died.