UN rights chief slams death penalty for rapists in Bangladesh

Updated 16 Oct 2020

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The UN rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, said sentencing rapists to death is not an appropriate punishment even for such a heinous crime. — AFP/File
The UN rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, said sentencing rapists to death is not an appropriate punishment even for such a heinous crime. — AFP/File

GENEVA: Sentencing rapists to death, as Bangladesh did on Thursday, is not an appropriate punishment even for such a heinous crime, the UN rights chief said.

“Tempting as it may be to impose draconian punishments on those who carry out such monstrous acts, we must not allow ourselves to commit further violations,” Michelle Bachelet said in a statement.

Her comment came after a Bangladesh court sentenced five men to death for the 2012 gang-rape of a 15-year-old girl.

Bachelet cited the law change in Bangladesh, but also calls in a number of other countries to impose the death penalty for rape.

She highlighted calls in Pakistan for public hanging and a law introduced in the north-western Nigerian state of Kaduna last month imposing surgical castration followed by execution in rape cases where the victim is under 14.

“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,” Bachelet said.

Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2020