No woman hanged so far in country’s history

No woman hanged so far in country’s history


Published: 18:38 30 September 2020   Updated: 13:13 1 October 2020

Representational Photo

Representational Photo

Almost half a century has passed since independence, but Bangladesh has not yet carried out the death penalty for women convicts.

According to the Department of Prisons, more than 150 women have been sentenced to death on various charges since independence, but no one has been executed so far. Many of the convicts have been released on special pardons after serving long prison terms, while others have died in prison. Someone again appealed to the high court and the punishment was reduced.

A court in Barguna has sentenced Minni to death in the murder case of Shahnawaz Sharif alias Rifat Sharif. After the announcement of this verdict, the question has arisen in the minds of everyone about the effective execution of this death sentence. 

In most cases, the death sentence is no longer valid for women defendants after they have gone to the Appellate Division. According to the general rules of execution, the death sentence is commuted or suspended on the grounds that she is old enough, is she physically ill, is the accused is pregnant, and above all if she is a woman. History has shown that women convicted of the death penalty were reduced to life imprisonment. There was an unwritten custom in this regard.

According to the Department of Prisons, Kashimpur Jail in Gazipur has the highest number of death row convicts in the country. There are currently about 450 executioners in the condom cell here. Verdicts of men are being effective, but not of women.

According to jail sources, some of the women convicts sentenced to death have been residents of condom cells for more than a decade. Their execution was long overdue but did not take effect. All of the convicted women were sentenced to death for murder. Most of them have been sentenced to death for killing a family member. Many were sentenced to life imprisonment after the appeal was heard in the high court.

Law says death row convicts can apologize to the President as the last option. If the President does not pardon them, there is no chance of escape from execution. However, there is no evidence that any woman’s application has gone to the President till date.