Tuesday, October 27, 2020 | ePaper

Easy killing is no governance: Death sentence for rape won't stop rape

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Although the government has amended the law relating to rape on October 13 using death penalty as punishment for the crime, there are several aspects that it must be cognizant of, without addressing them it would not be possible to prevent rape.

Even after the amendment of the law, reports are being published in national media every day about the rape and gang-raped incidents across the country. According to Ain-o-Salish Kendra (ASK), at least 975 rape cases were reported in the country between April and September 2020, including 208 gang rapes. It means on an average, more than six women have been raped daily in the last five months.

In fact, the rape incident at Begumganj in Noakhali has surpassed all other recent rape crimes. Especially, it shook people's conscience after the video of the incident went viral on Facebook. The 32-day old incident surprised people after it came to the spotlight.

Though the people earlier agitated due to the rape incidents in Sylhet and Savar, the cry of the Begumganj's rape victim in the video pierced everybody's heart. 

In the pressure of public demand, the government was compelled to announce the death penalty for the crime of rape. As well intentioned as it may be, we must point out that merely changing the existing law or bringing in new legislations would not automatically stem the plague the country is beset with. 

The rapists are so powerful that they give threats to the victims after raping them. They do it to show off their power. The role of the state is implicit here. These rapists are directly linked to state power. They know that they are secure.
Meanwhile, the UN rights chief Michelle Barchelet in a statement from Geneva said sentencing rapists to death, as Bangladesh has done, is not an appropriate punishment even for such a heinous crime.

"The main argument being made for the death penalty is for it to deter rape -- but in fact there is no evidence that the death penalty deters crime more than other forms of punishment," she said.

It is a disgrace for the whole nation those who have occupied power to govern have no intention or have the capacity to learn how to govern. They do not understand how to solve problems. To them, police power and harsh laws are the solutions to all problems. They do not see how over the years their incompetence has produced a failed government. Still they continue in power and that is their biggest success. How they manage it is not a mystery, but the people have no say.

Death sentence for rape without any mitigating provision in the law shall mean police will decide who should be accused and who should not. The judges’ hands are tied so the police will be able to make good feast of the law. Rape crime will be more dangerous.

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