General

Feni rape victim’s marriage with accused: HC order on bail Monday

The High Court will pass its order Monday on a bail petition filed by a rape accused who married the victim at Feni jail gate.

The bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman fixed the date for the order as the bail petition had been placed before them on Sunday.

Advocate Faruk Alamgir Chowdhury represented the accused while Deputy Attorney General Md Sarowar Hossain stood for the state.

On Nov 19, Zahirul Islam Zia got married to the victim.

The marriage ceremony, which was agreed upon by both parties, took place in presence of Executive Magistrate Moniruzzaman with an alimony of Tk6 lakh.

Zia and the victim, Bibi Zohura, were in love and had agreed to get married. However, on May 17, Zohura accused him of raping her.

On June 30, Sonagazi police arrested Zia and pressed charges against him in court.

The High Court, on November 1, agreed to grant him bail on the condition that he marries the victim. The order reached the jail on Nov 11.

The victim expressed satisfaction at the court’s decision.

Death penalty for rape

Bangladesh has seen a spike in rape crimes in recent months with nearly 1,000 cases, including over 200 gang-rapes recorded between January and September, according to Ain O Salish Kendra.

But the actual number is believed to be much higher since many victims choose not to report assaults, fearing social stigma and their safety.

The government, on October 13, promulgated an ordinance making death penalty the maximum punishment for rape.

The move came in the face of countrywide protests, sparked by rape incidents in Sylhet and Noakhali.

On November 17, the Women and Children Repression Prevention (Amendment) Bill 2020 was passed in the parliament ensuring death penalty as the highest punishment for rape.

Rapists are rarely held to account in Bangladesh where the conviction rate for rape is below 1%, Human Rights Watch says.

Source: United News of Bangladesh