Rage against rape: rallies in

Ministers hoped a small change to the law—adding the death penalty for all lone rapists as well as all gang rapists—would placate public outrage. No such luck. Nationwide protests, which erupted on October 5th after a video showing a gang sexual assault went viral, enter a third week today. If the protesters cannot be satisfied, neither are they easy to suppress. On Saturday, local police beat protesters walking the 160km from Dhaka, the capital, to Noakhali, where the attack took place. The bloodied dissenters marched on. Their defiance, rare in authoritarian Bangladesh, points to anger not only over sexual violence but also over the government’s response, labelled by women’s-rights organisations as inadequate and misguided. Across the border, India too is debating capital punishment for rape, after the gang-rape and murder of a low-caste Hindu woman in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Killing rapists makes governments appear purposeful, say activists. But it does not stop the crime.