Saturday, October 15, 2016

Rights groups condemn Indonesia's chemical castration penalty

Rights groups in Indonesia have condemned the country's recently-enacted law that allows chemical castration and death penalty against convicts who commit underage sex crime cases.

Such suspensions are inhumane, cruel and unjust, they say.

The law was unanimously enacted by the parliament on Wednesday amid concerns about rampant child abuse cases across the country conducted by adults and underage perpetrators.

The government has categorized sex abuse against underage children as extraordinary crime.

The law provides clearance for judges to punish adult convicts committing underage sex crime with chemical castration sentence.

For convicts of more severe nature, death penalty will be issued against them.

After receiving chemical castration in the jail, convicts would be implanted with microchip so as to ease the monitoring against them in the society after their jail term was over.

Responding to the law, the Amnesty International (AI) called on Indonesian authorities to immediately revoke it, saying that such punishments were "injustice," "cruel," and "inhumane."

"Sexual crime against children is indescribably horrible. But, subjecting offenders to chemical castration or executions is not fair. It only extends one cruelty to another one," a researcher at AI Indonesia Padang Hedayat said in a statement released on Thursday.

The London-based rights group said that such a law was inconsistent with Indonesia's international obligations in protecting basic human rights.

Indonesia has previously ratified the United Nations' Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in 1998 and 2005.

Indonesian rights group Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR) pointed out that the law negates the rights of victims and defies the rights for convicts to undergo mental health care program as part of their rehabilitation process.

"Government only focuses on harsher punishment for the perpetrators," ICRJ Director Supriyadi Eddying said in a statement.

Indonesian Doctors Association also expressed its disagreement with the law. The organization of physicians serving in Indonesia has said they would reject to be involved in chemical castration against the convicts as it is contradicted with doctor's ethics.

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