The government of Bangladesh on Monday has introduced the death penalty for rape days after massive protests erupted sparked by a string of sexual assault cases.
Demonstrations and protests broke out across the country after harrowing footage of a group of men stripping and attacking a woman went viral on social media.
According to activists in the country, only a tiny percentage of sexual assault victims see justice.
The government approved the capital punishment after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina faced backlash within the ruling party’s ranks over her perceived inaction.
Protesters in the capital Dhaka and elsewhere have demanded stiffer punishments for rape, faster trials for rapists and an end to what they see as a culture of impunity. Some even called for Prime Minister’s resignation.
Rallies continued on Monday in central Dhaka despite heavy monsoon rains, with hundreds of people condemning the recent arrest of student leaders by authorities attempting to suppress the protests.
The law is set to be put into effect by the president on Tuesday. Previously, the maximum punishment for rape was life imprisonment.