Bangladesh’s government approved the death penalty as the maximum sentence in rape cases Monday, following days of protests against a string of sexual assaults.
Harrowing footage of a group of men attacking a woman went viral on social media last week, sparking outrage in the South Asian country where rights groups say rape victims rarely see justice.
In another case earlier this month, members of the student wing of the ruling party were charged with gang rape. But protesters are demanding harsher punishments and faster trials for those accused of assault.
Protests continued Monday despite the announcement from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s cabinet.
The new measure will come into effect Tuesday, the French Press Agency reported. Under current law, the maximum sentence for rape in Bangladesh is life in prison, unless the rape victim was killed.
Local rights group Ain-o-Salish Kendra says that 889 women have been raped in Bangladesh between January and August of this year.