10/17/2020, 14.27
BANGLADESH
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Calls for the death penalty in order to stop the rise number of rapes

by Sumon Corraya

Muslims groups are putting pressure. Justice and Peace is calling for justice, trials and convictions. “In our country, rapists are never punished; for this reason, the number of acts of sexual violence is increasing,” Catholic official says. Between January and September 2020, 975 cases of rape were reported in Bangladesh causing the death of 43 women, 12 by suicide.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) – After weeks of pressure, the Bangladeshi government announced plans to introduce the death sentence for people found guilty of rape.

For several days, protest rallies have been held across the country to denounce the rise in sexual violence against women.

Last week, a video showing a gang attacking a 37-year-old woman went viral sparking mass protests.

According to some human rights groups, such as Ain or Salish Kendra, 975 cases of rape were reported in Bangladesh from January to September this year. As a result of rape, 43 women died and 12 committed suicide.

Yesterday, thousands of Muslims rallied in front of the Baitul Mukarram mosque, demanding justice for the victims of sexual violence.

“People are suffering from the coronavirus, and women are becoming victims of sexual persecution. This is because Islamic law is not followed,” said Nur Hossian, leader of Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh.

“In our society, justice must be restored,” Hossian explained. And “Only Islamic law can do so. For his crime, the rapist must be killed in public.”

Fr Albert Rozario, head of Justice and Peace in Dhaka, is not calling for the death sentence, but at least wants to see justice.

“In our country, rapists are never punished; for this reason, the number of acts of sexual violence is increasing,” he said. “If raped women obtained justice, such incidents would decrease. I urge the government to hold quick trials against acts of sexual violence.”

On Thursday, more than 100 women organised a bicycle rally to protest sexual violence in Dhaka and Narayanganj.

Team Narayanganj Cyclist is the Facebook profile of a group of cyclists. “This protest is to safeguard our honour,” writes administrator Maharab Hossian.

The latter too wants to see the death penalty for rapists. “If a person cannot live honorably in society, his life is worthless. We are working for that.”

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