Saturday 20 January 2018

Indonesian President vows to 'wipe out paedophilia' with chemical castration law

Indonesian president Joko Widodo
Indonesian president Joko Widodo Newsdesk Newsdesk

Indonesian President, Joko Widodo, has defended introducing chemical castration for paedophiles.

In an interview, which was published on Wednesday, he said that there would be "no compromise" when it comes to dealing with this sort of criminal activity.

In May, the President introduced a series of tough punishments for paedophilia, including including chemical castration and the death penalty. This followed an outcry over the fatal gang-rape of a schoolgirl.

Last week, Parliament voted to put the new regulations permanently on the statute book.

In an interview with the BBC, Widodo defended introducing chemical castration, a decision that has sparked anger from human rights activists.

"Our constitution respects human rights, but when it comes to sexual crimes there is no compromise," he said, adding that the government "will hand out the maximum penalty" for such crimes.

"In my opinion... chemical castration, if we enforce it consistently, will reduce sex crimes and wipe them out over time," he said.

Indonesia is among a small group of places worldwide which use the measure, including Poland and some states in the USA. In 2011 South Korea became the first Asian country to legalise the treatment.

Chemical castration involves using drugs to reduce libido and sex drive.

Widodo was spurred into action after the murder and gang-rape in April of a 14-year-old girl. She was set upon by a gang of drunken men and boys as she walked home from school on the western island of Sumatra.

The leader of the gang was sentenced to death last month after being found guilty of premeditated murder, a crime already punishable by death before the new laws were introduced.

Other members of the gang have been jailed.

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