Passenger plane hijackers could soon face the death penalty under new Bangladeshi legislation, officials said Monday.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s cabinet gave the go-ahead for the Civil Aviation Operation Act 2017 to be debated in parliament.
The proposal aims to update the country’s decades-old Civil Aviation Order, which was adopted in the 1960s.
“Any action disrupting smooth operation of aircraft and jeopardising people’s lives will be considered a serious crime,” government spokesman Mohammad Alam told reporters after the cabinet’s weekly meeting.
Under the legislation, an act to willfully obstruct a flight would be punishable with life in prison or the death sentence and a fine of 50 million taka (631,313 dollars), Alam said.
Civil Aviation Minister Rashed Meanon told dpa that obstruction to flight includes hijackings or otherwise hindering a flight’s movements with the intention of causing harm.
Misuse of light signals also defined as a serious crime with punishment of life in jail or fine of 50 million taka or both, he said.
Passengers who board an aircraft with substances prohibited by the International Civil Aviation Organisation could face seven years in prison under the proposal.