The first ever Islamic funeral for a sex worker in Bangladesh has been welcomed by activists in the country.

Hamida Begum worked at one of the world's largest brothels in the village of Daulatdia and died of illness at the age of 65.

A religious funeral involving 200 people was held for her last week.

Previously,  Islamic clerics had refused to perform funeral prayers for prostitutes. Sex work is legal in Bangladesh but those who die are usually buried in unmarked graves ir their bodies dumped.

But a group of sex workers asked police to persuade clerics to reverse their decision.

Speaking to AFP local police chief Ashiqur Rahman said,  "The imam was initially reluctant to lead the prayers.

"But we asked him whether Islam forbids anyone from taking part in the Janaza [funeral prayers] of a sex worker. He had no answer."

"It was an unprecedented scene.

"People waited until late in the night to join the prayers. The eyes of sex workers welled up with tears."

Begum's son, Mukul Seikh, and her 35-year-old daughter Laxmi, who is also a sex worker were at the graveside.

Mural said, "I will try to ensure that all of the sisters and mothers in this brothel geta  proper funeral like my mother."

Laxmi said, "I never dreamed that she would get such an honourable farewell. My mother was treated like a human being.

"I hope from now on every woman who works here, including me, gets a Janazah just the way my mother did."