Dhaka: The Bangladesh government has planned to introduce capital punishment in rape cases as protests have erupted across the country over the recent incidents of sexual violence against women.
Law Minister Anisul Huq told bdnews24 Thursday that a proposal for the legal amendment will be placed at a cabinet meeting October 12.
“We are making the proposal on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s orders. We will propose an amendment to the penalty in the current law by including capital punishment for rapists,” he was quoted as saying.
Different organisations have been protesting in Dhaka’s Shahbagh and other parts of the country since Tuesday over the assault of a woman in Noakhali and the rape of another in Sylhet’s MC College.
‘Bangladesh Against Rape’, a platform of student groups, has called for a rally at Shahbagh Friday. Currently, the maximum punishment under Bangladesh’s Women and Children Repression Prevention Act for committing rape is life term imprisonment.
In the event the rape victim’s death, the maximum penalty is death. The convicts also face fines. At least 889 women have been raped in Bangladesh between January and August of this year, according to legal rights group Ain O Salish Kendra.
As many as 192 others faced rape attempts and sexual harassment in this period, while nine victims took their own lives.