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Indonesia passed a new law under which Child rapists and Pedophiles will be castrated or executed. President Joko Widodo has signed a decree on Wednesday (October 12, 2016) introducing the harsher penalties, which also include fitting monitoring devices to offenders after their release from jail.

The law came in response to public anger in social media and streets of Jakarta at the fatal gang-rape of a schoolgirl named Yuyun.  She was abducted and attacked on her way home from school, and was gang-raped by a group of 12 men and boys in the village Kasiah Kasubun in Sumatra in April. Her body was found after three days, bruised and bloody with her hands tied in woodland.

According to the previous Indonesian law, the longest sentence available for rape, of either an adult or a child, was 14 years in jail. Under the new legislation, convicted pedophiles may have to to undergo chemical castration and serve longer jail terms. The provision for implanting microchips into their ankles is also introduced in the law, so they can be monitored 24/7 by the police.

The microchip will be fitted before the criminals are released from prison, and is needed to monitor and locate them after they are freed,” said Asrorun Niam Sholeh, head of government-backed child rights group, the National Commission for Child Protection (NCCP).

And in extreme cases, (like death of the victim, permanent physical damage or incest rape) the convict will get death penalty.

Although protesters, social activists and political leaders welcomed the new law, it has already been marred with controversy by some activists ans doctors who raised serious concerns regarding the punishment of castration.

The Indonesian Doctors Association said its members would refuse to administer chemical castration – which involves injecting men with female hormones – as it was a violation of its medical ethics. Although, the chemical castration of pedophiles is already practiced in several countries including Poland, South Korea, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Turkey, Russia and some states of the US.

In a verdict delivered in October 2015, a bench of Madras High Court in India also suggested the introduction of chemical castration as a punishment for child rapists in India.

The castration process involves regular injections of female hormones to male body, which reduces libido of the convict by reducing testosterone.

Indonesia’s National Commission for Women (NCW), criticised the laws and called for them to be re-evaluated annually to see whether they work as a deterrent.

Ms. Azriana, representative of the NCW told the BBC: “Other countries that have chemical castration have not seen a reduction in sexual crime against children.  Interestingly, a 1991 Johns Hopkins study found that less than 10 percent of chemically castrated offenders had committed sexual offenses in the five years following the procedure. But other studies showed that some patients saw a surge in testosterone levels and increased sexual desires after the procedure.

Source – The Independent UK and Al Jazeera.

The featured photo taken from The Economic Times of India.