Bangladesh High Court bans publication of names, photos of rape victims

The High Court has called for immediate steps to stop the publication of pictures, names, addresses, educational institutions, workplaces and any other detail relevant to the identity of women and children who have been sexually abused or raped.

Published : 8 March 2021, 03:00 PM
Updated : 8 March 2021, 03:00 PM

The court directed the information secretary, chairman of the Bangladesh Press Council, home secretary and chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission to report back on the measures adopted to implement the directive within the next 30 days.

The bench of Justice Farah Mahbub and Justice SM Maniruzzaman passed the orders on Monday along with a rule after a preliminary hearing of a writ petition filed on behalf of the human rights group Justice Watch Foundation.

Section 14 of the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act bars media outlets from publishing the names, pictures and addresses of victims of rape and sexual abuse, said Mahfuzur Rahman Milon, counsel for the petitioner.

But the provision is often flouted and as a result, the writ petition included copies of offending reports published by newspapers.

"The court has banned the publication of the victim's picture, name, identity and any kind of address. It has also issued a rule on the matter.”

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher