Since independence, Bangladesh has not carried out the death sentence of any woman convict, prisons officials say. Even if a woman is sentenced to death, her punishment is later commuted.
The latest example is Oishee Rahman, who killed her father, Special Branch inspector Mahfuzur Rahman, and mother Swapna Rahman on August 16, 2013 at their Malibagh residence.
A Dhaka court found her guilty in 2015 and handed down maximum penalty for the cold-blooded killing. But the High Court on June 5 revised the punishment to life imprisonment.
The court cited five reasons for commuting her sentence: lack of motive, medical report (on her physical and mental state), mental disorder, lack of prior criminal records and surrender within two days of committing the crime.
According to Prisons Headquarters, there are 75,935 prisoners at various jails as of June 7 – and 1,456 of them are death row convicts.
Altogether 2,899 women are behind bars – 2,369 of them are under trial while the 533 are serving various sentences. Only 37 of them are carrying death sentences.
There are 267 children below the age of six with the female prisoners and detainees.
Prisons sources say the only known execution of a woman in this region took place in 1937 in Sylhet, when one Karimunnesa was hanged for murdering her husband. Although many countries execute women prisoners, there is no such known incident in Bangladesh.
Assistant Inspector General of Prisons (administration) Md Abdullah Al-Mamun told the Bangla Tribune: “We have no information on executing female prisoners in Bangladesh. I am not aware of any such incident that might have taken place before the independence.”