Bangladesh approves death penalty for rape, passes ordinance
Dhaka, October 13: Women and Children Repression Prevention (amendment) ordinance -2020 has been enacted with the provision of death penalty as the maximum punishment for rape. On Tuesday (October 13) President Md. Abdul Hamid issued the ordinance. The Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Law Ministry issued a gazette notification.
Earlier on Tuesday (October 13) the President Md. Abdul Hamid signed the ordinance.
The Cabinet on Monday (October 12) gave final approval to the draft ‘Prevention of Violence against Women and Children (Amendment) Ordinance, 2000’.
Under the Women and Child Abuse Prevention Act, the maximum penalty for rape was life imprisonment.
The government took this step in the midst of a nationwide movement against rape and violence against women and a demand for the death penalty for rapists.
Subsection 9 (1) of the Prevention of Violence against Women and Children Act, 2000 states, "If a man rapes a woman or a child, he shall be punishable with life imprisonment and with an additional fine."
According to the ordinance, the words 'death penalty or life imprisonment' have been substituted for the term 'life imprisonment' in sub-section 9 (1).
Subsection 9 (4) (a) of the Act stated, "If a person attempts to kill or injure a woman or child by raping her, he shall be punishable with life imprisonment and in addition with a fine."
Here, too, it has been amended to provide for 'death penalty or life imprisonment' instead of 'life imprisonment'.
Under the ordinance, the crime would be compromising in the case of common injuries other than rape.
In addition, the previous law had a reference to the Children's Act of 1974. Now there will be 'Children's Act, 2013'.
It further said, "If a victim of a crime committed under this Act is brought to a hospital for treatment, the doctor on duty at that hospital will complete his medical examination expeditiously and issue a certificate to the person concerned and inform the local police station of such crime."