Bangladesh: Cabinet okays draft maritime zones act with death penalty provision

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The cabinet has approved the principle draft of “Bangladesh Maritime Zones Act 2019” with capital punishment for murder while committing robbery at sea.

The approval came from the regular cabinet meeting held with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair at her office on Monday.

The draft act also aims at unlocking huge potentials of the blue economy and checking crimes.

“The Foreign Ministry brought the proposed law before the cabinet for its approval in accordance with various sea-related international laws and conventions,” Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said.

He said this in a press briefing at the secretariat after the meeting.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina chairs a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Dhaka on Monday, November 25, 2019, | Focus Bangla
He said if the law is enacted, the rights of Bangladesh for exclusive economic zone over 200 nautical miles and its sovereign rights over 350 nautical miles on the continental shelf of the sea will be established.

Under the 1982 United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea, all coastal countries are granted sovereign right to stretch of the sea extending 200 nautical miles beyond their coast, which is known as an exclusive economic zone.

“The proposed law has suggested capital punishment for murder while committing robbery and other sea-related crimes,” Anwarul added.

As per the proposed law, the highest punishment for robbery is life-term imprisonment, while that for abetting such crimes is 14-year imprisonment, he added.

The cabinet also gave approval to the proposal for the ratification of “The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.”

In 2016, the amendment was brought to the protocol in Ruanda aiming for the phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by cutting their production and consumption.


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