Crime & Justice

Bangladesh man gets life in prison for rape of student

Dhaka, Nov 19 (efe-epa).- An alleged “serial rapist” in Bangladesh was sentenced to life in prison by a court on Thursday for raping a 19-year-old student at Dhaka University that had triggered angry protests on the campus in January this year.

Judge Mosammat Kamrunnahar of Dhaka Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal fined the convict, Mohammad Mojnu, taka 50,000 ($588) or an additional six months in jail in case he failed to pay the money, public prosecutor Afroja Farhana told reporters.

Police identified and arrested Mojnu on Jan 8, three days after he choked the victim and dragged her to nearby bushes near Dhaka cantonment, where he hit her and tried to kill her after raping her on Jan 5.

At the time of his arrest, police said Mojnu raped many physically-challenged women and beggars in different spots and was involved in many crimes, including mugging.

Prosecutor Farhana said the court recorded and examined 20 witnesses out of 24.

“The victim got justice. We are happy with the verdict,” she told reporters outside the court.

Mojnu’s state-appointed lawyer Rabiul Islam told EFE that they might challenge the verdict.

The verdict came at a time when Bangladesh saw massive protests after several incidents of sexual and physical abuse.

Protests began in early October after a video showed a group of men sexually abusing and assaulting a woman in the southern district of Noakhali.

Although the event took place in early September, the video, which quickly went viral on social media before a court instructed to take it down, was shared by one of the accused a day before the start of the protests.

The government on Oct 12 amended a law, introducing death for rape.

Some courts also disposed of rape cases more quickly quicker than expected.

A court in northwest Kushtia district delivered in three working days earlier this week a verdict in a rape case in what local media said the fastest disposal of a rape case in the country.

At least 1,349 women faced rape, and 46 were murdered by assaulters after rape in the first ten months of 2020, according to media reports collated by Bangladesh human rights group Ain o Salish Kendra. EFE-EPA


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