Bangladesh approves death penalty in rape cases

Bangladesh approves death penalty in rape cases


DHAKA, Bangladesh — Bangladesh’s Cabinet on Monday approved an increase in the maximum punishment in rape cases to death from life imprisonment after a series of recent sexual assaults triggered protests on streets and in social media.

Cabinet spokesman Khandaker Anwarul Islam said President Abdul Hamid is likely to issue an ordinance amending the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act because Parliament is not in session.

Details of the amendment were not immediately available, but Islam said the Cabinet agreed to a proposal that trials in rape cases be completed in a speedy manner.

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Under the current law, the maximum punishment in rape cases is life imprisonment, except for cases in which the victim dies, when capital punishment is allowed.

Law Minister Anisul Huq said the president is expected to issue the ordinance on Tuesday.

A series of violent sexual attacks in recent weeks has triggered protests in the capital, Dhaka, and elsewhere.

Local human rights groups say rapes

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