Bangladesh government on Tuesday finalised the death penalty in rape cases after weeks of protests demanding stricter punishment for rapists rocked the nation.
The protests were triggered after a video of a group of men stripping and attacking a woman from Noakhali went viral. The video sparked outrage across Bangladesh where activists say that very few rape victims get justice. The new law came into effect on Tuesday after President's approval.
According to The Guardian report, south Asia researcher Sultan Mohammed Zakaria on Monday had said that the disturbing footage demonstrates the shocking violence that Bangladeshi women are routinely being subjected to. "In the vast majority of these cases, the justice system fails to hold the perpetrators responsible," Zakaria said.
Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina had been facing internal resistance from her party members because of her inaction over the issue. Following the criticism, some also called for Sheikh's resignation.
As per the previous women and children repression prevention bill, the maximum punishment for sexual assault in Bangladesh was life imprisonment which has now been amended to be a death penalty.
Public outrage against cases of sexual assaults had been mounting in Bangladesh for a long time. Previously the UN also released a statement which said that the Noakhali case had revealed the social, structural and behavioural misogyny that exists in Bangladesh.
From January to September this year, almost 975 rape cases were reported out of which 208 were gang-raped cases. In January, after a student was raped at Dhaka University the government was ordered by the courts to form a commission to check the rising number of rape cases but this commission is yet to be formed.