Germany praised for ending surgical castration of sex offenders
The Council of Europe's anti-torture committee has praised Germany for effectively ending the surgical castration of some sex offenders - although the law has not yet been repealed.
The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture had criticised Germany in 2012 for the practice, while acknowledging it was done voluntarily under well-controlled circumstances.
In a report released in Strasbourg, France, the committee said that during the period covered between 2013 and 2015, "not one single surgical castration had been carried out" - but it called for laws to be changed to permanently end such procedures.
The committee added that some prisoners reported being pressured into so-called "chemical castration" - anti-androgen treatments to reduce male hormone levels - and stressed that this needed to be voluntary.
Germany responded that castration is used only to treat a person's "serious illness".