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Dublin: 5 °C Tuesday 22 October, 2019

Indonesia parliament passes chemical castration laws for convicted paedophiles

The controversial laws were the subject of fierce debate, with two opposition parties voting against the measures.

Image: Shutterstock/Tarica

INDONESIA’S PARLIAMENT HAS passed controversial laws allowing for chemical castration and execution in the cases of convicted paedophiles.

The controversial laws were the subject of fierce debate, with two opposition parties voting against the measures, The BBC reports.

They were proposed by president Joko Widodo in May following a horrific case in which a 14-year-old was murdered and gang-raped by a group of men and boys in as she made her way back from school.

The case shocked and angered the nation, prompting the president to introduce the tough new measures.

Chemical castration involves injecting convicts with female hormones. It is currently used in Poland, Russia and some states in the US, among others.

The laws have been met with huge criticism. The Indonesian Doctors Association said its members should not take part in castrations as it would violate professional ethics.

The case

Following the discovery of the teenager’s body tied up and naked in the woods, police arrested 13 people over the attack while one alleged perpetrator is still at large.

The murder and attack shocked the country and sparked a national debate about a failure to tackle endemic sexual violence.

Zainal, a 23-year-old who like many Indonesians goes by one name, was sentenced to death last month for premeditated murder, which was a crime already punishable by death before the new laws were introduced.

The mother of the victim shouted in protest after the verdicts were handed down, demanding all the defendants be sentenced to death.

The attack captured national attention when reports of the incident went viral on social media, prompting tens of thousands to sign online petitions and sparking protests in the capital Jakarta.

It has drawn comparisons with the fatal gang-rape of a student on a bus in Delhi in 2012, which sparked mass protests and led to an overhaul of India’s rape laws.

With reporting from AFP

Read: Obama is the latest to publicly criticise Trump over sexist comments

Read: Four child sex abuse survivors who took their own lives last year were waiting for treatment

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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