Bangladesh President Md Abdul Hamid on Tuesday 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 led on Monday, reports bdnews24.
The maximum punishment under the previous law in rape cases was life imprisonment.
In recent days, protests have been staged by different organisations at Dhaka's Shahbagh square and other parts of the country against sexual assaults on a woman in Noakhali and the rape of another woman in Sylhet's MC College.
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.
Rights activists believe the numbers are much higher because many of the victims do not complain to the police.