Five rapists have become the first to be sentenced to hang under Bangladesh’s new death penalty law for sex fiends.
The prisoners were condemned for gang-raping a 15-year-old girl in 2012 two days after the rule was passed.
The new punishment was introduced within days amid nationwide outrage at a video of a woman being tortured and raped by eight men.
At a a special tribunal set up to deal with abuse against women and children, prosecutor Nasim Ahmed said the rape victim’s boyfriend took her to a riverside where she was raped by him and two friends.
Two other men then joined in the vile attack, the court in the northern district of Tangail was told.
Ahmed told reporters: “All five were found guilty and have been sentenced to death.”
The men became the first to be sentenced to hang since the government introduced the death penalty for rape, which had a maximum sentence of life imprisonment previously, the Sun reports.
Ministers rushed through a new law in days – while parliament was not sitting – after demonstrations broke out across the country over an horrific gang-rape.
Harrowing footage of a group of men stripping and attacking the woman went viral on social media.
It came after members of the ruling party’s student wing, Bangladesh Chhatra League, were arrested and charged in a separate gang rape case last month.
Protesters in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country have demanded harsher punishments and faster trials for perpetrators of sex crimes.
According to activists in Bangladesh, just three per cent of rape cases end in convictions.
Ain-o-Salish Kendra, a women’s rights group, said 889 rapes, including hundreds of gang rapes, occurred between January and August this year.
Despite the harsher punishment, some have said that this won’t stop violence against women – but will instead increase it.
A spokesman for Amnesty International said: “This regressive step is a fig leaf that deflects attention from the lack of real action to address the appalling brutality faced by so many Bangladeshi women.
“Executions perpetuate violence, they don’t prevent it.”