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Bangladesh to allow death penalty for convicted rapists

October 13, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Women???s rights activists and others protesting against gender based violence hold placards outside the Parliament in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, Oct.9, 2020. Bangladesh's Cabinet has approved an increase in the maximum punishment in rape cases to death from life imprisonment after a series of recent sexual assaults triggered protests. (AP Photo/ Mahmud Hossain Opu)

Bangladesh is set to allow the death penalty for convicted rapists after weeks of protests over sexual violence in the country.

(CNN)Bangladesh is set to allow the death penalty for convicted rapists after weeks of protests over sexual violence in the country.

Bangladesh's government has faced calls to do more to prevent sexual violence amid national outrage over a viral video of a group of men attacking and sexually assaulting a woman in the country's south.

"Bangladeshi women have had enough of the government's abject failure to address repeated rapes and sexual assaults," said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch, in a statement last week.

"The Bangladesh government needs to finally make good on its empty promises and heed activists' calls to take meaningful action to combat sexual violence and to support survivors. "

At least 975 women and girls were raped in the first nine months of 2020 in Bangladesh, according to Ain o Salish Kendra, a Bangladeshi human rights and legal aid organization based in capital city, Dhaka.

The new punishment is unlikely to be widely applied; according to Human Rights Watch, Bangladesh has an extremely low conviction rate for rape, and victims face myriad difficulties in reporting sexual crimes and pursuing legal cases against alleged attackers.

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