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Bangladesh approves death penalty in rape cases

Dhaka: Bangladesh introduced the death penalty for rape after days of protests sparked by a string of sexual assaults, the government said.

Demonstrations have broken out across the country after harrowing footage of a group of men stripping and attacking a woman went viral on social media.

Bangladesh President Md Abdul Hamid signed an ordinance elevating the maximum punishment in rape cases to death from life imprisonment.

The development came after the amendment to the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act, was approved by the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina-led cabinet, reports bdnews24.

The maximum punishment under the previous law in rape cases was life imprisonment.

As many as 4,541 rape cases have been reported Bangladesh in the past 16 years and the accused were punished in only 60 of these incidents, according to data from the tribunals.

At least 889 women have been raped in Bangladesh between January and August 2020, rights group Ain O Salish Kendra said.

As many as 192 others faced attempted rapes and sexual harassment in this period, while nine of the victims took their own lives, bdnews24 reported.

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