Crime & Justice

HRW blasts Bangladesh court ruling over rape

Dhaka, Nov 16 ( EFE).- International rights group Human Rights Watch on Tuesday criticised a ruling by a Bangladesh lower court judge that asked police to refuse any rape case that comes in 72 hours after the incident.

South Asia director at Human Rights Watch, Meenakshi Ganguly, said such a ruling would further “discourage” others victims to raise similar complaints.

Judge Mosammat Kamrunnahar of Dhaka’s Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal issued the ruling on November 11 while acquitting all five accused, including the son of a top businessman, in a 2017 rape case.

Two men were accused of raping two university students in a Dhaka hotel while the three other men were accused of assisting the assault.

“It is already nearly impossible to obtain justice for rape in Bangladesh, and rulings such as the one (…) can only further discourage others from coming forward,” Ganguly said in the statement.

Protest erupted since the announcement of the verdict.

The president of women rights group Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, Fauzia Moslem, also criticized both the verdict and ruling.

“I don’t understand why the court did not consider the confessional statement of one of the accused,” she told Efe.

“About the ruling over 72 hours, I would say this is a violation of the victim’s fundamental rights and contradictory not only to our constitution but to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” she added.

Bangladesh’s Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain suspended the judge after an uproar while law Minister Anisul Huq was quick to clarify the issue, saying that the judge’s ruling was “absolutely unlawful and illegal.”

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