Convicted sex offenders who prey on children in Indonesia is now punishable by death and chemical castration.
Indonesian president Joko Widodo has signed a decree on Wednesday authorizing the new law (effective immediately) comes after the horrific gang rape and murder of a 14-year-old in the Indonesian island of Sumatra in April.
The girl’s body was found naked and tied up in the forest. It was revealed that the suspects were a group of teenagers. A total of seven offenders are serving a 10-year jail sentence.
“Sexual violence against children, as I have said, is an extraordinary crime,” President Joko Widodo said in a statement. “We hope that this law will be a deterrent for offenders and can suppress sexual crimes against children.”
“These acts threaten and endanger children, and they destroy the lives and development of children for the future,” the President added.
Chemical castration makes use of drugs that reduce libido/sex drive, or sexual activity. This is legal in countries like Czech Republic, Poland, and South Korea. This new law in Indonesia, which includes a maximum of penalty of death, means that judges in the country can now force the convicted secual offenders to undergo the castration.
Indonesia continues to struggle with sexual violence. Just this month, a woman was raped and murdered by three men in Jakarta.
Joko continues to receive a lot of criticism on the controversial punishments he has been approving. Last year, claiming that the country had a crisis on drugs, he removed an official moratorium on capital punishment by executing 13 convicted drug traffickers by firing squad.
“Chemical castration risks offering a false solution, and a simple one, to what is inevitably a complex and difficult problem,” said Heather Barr, a senior researcher on women’s rights with Human Rights Watch. “Protecting children from sexual abuse requires a complex and carefully calibrated set of responses.”
“Chemical castration on its own addresses none of these needs,” she added. “Medical interventions should be used, if at all, only as part of a skilled treatment program, not as a punishment.”