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September 15, 2020

Three countries where rapists are punished through castration

Top Story

September 15, 2020

LAHORE: Premier Imran Khan on Monday viewed in a television interview that surgical castration of convicted rapists and pedophiles was imperative to deter the sex offenders.

Surgical castration involves loss of testicles. This procedure applies to males only while chemical castration is used to reduce sexual urge. A drug is used here to reduce sexual drives, compulsive sexual fantasies and capacity for sexual arousal.

Research conducted by the Jang Group and Geo Television Network shows that at least three countries have enacted castration laws as punishment for rapists. According to the BBC News, the CNN, the Amnesty International, The Jakarta Globe newspaper, the Independent newspaper and the Daily Mirror of UK, these countries that punish rapists through castration include:

Indonesia – Indonesia’s parliament in October 2016 had passed a law authorising chemical castration following a number of high profile cases of child sexual abuse in the country. The first man sentenced to chemical castration in 2019 said he would prefer an increase in prison time or even the death penalty.

Czech Republic – The Czech Republic practices surgical castration for sex offenders. The law was introduced in 1966. According to official figures, 85 people underwent surgical castration in the Czech Republic between 2000 and 2011. However, this practice has drawn strong criticism from rights groups.

Ukraine – Ukraine’s parliament in July 2019 had approved measure to chemically castrate rapists forcibly. The legislation will potentially apply to individuals aged between 18 and 65 found guilty of raping or sexually abusing minors.

Just days ago, Nigerian lawmakers had stunned the world by approving surgical castration as punishment for those convicted of raping children under the age of 14. However, Kaduna State governor, Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai, needs to sign the bill for it to become the law.

The BBC News states: "The Governor of Kaduna State in Nigeria has previously supported castration to prevent rapists from re-offending. The move follows public outrage over a wave of rapes, which prompted the nation's state governors to declare a state of emergency. Nigeria's federal law provides between 14 years and life imprisonment as punishment, but state legislators can set different sentencing rules. Stigma often prevents victims from reporting incidents of rape in Nigeria and the number of successful prosecutions is low."

And on June 11, 2019, the American state of Alabama had enacted a law that would require, as a condition of parole, that some convicted child sex offenders undergo "chemical castration". Renowned American media house The Atlantic had written: "The new law will mean that those who abused children under the age of 13 will be injected with hormone-blocking drugs before leaving prison. The medication will have to be administered until a judge, not a doctor, deemed it no longer necessary. A similar bill was proposed last year in Oklahoma but met strong opposition. The former Soviet republic of Moldova also passed a law mandating chemical castration for child sex offenders, in 2012. It was repealed the following year on grounds that it was a "violation of fundamental human rights."

The US newspaper had added: "Unlike castrating a bull, chemical castration does not involve removing a person’s testicles though the Alabama bill’s sponsor, Representative Steve Hurst, initially advocated the surgical approach. Instead, the procedure uses various drugs to render the testicles irrelevant. In most cases, medication triggers the pituitary gland to reduce testosterone to prepubescent levels."

Punishment of rapists in different countries around the world:

In Saudi Arabia, the punishment which a court can impose on the rapist may range from flogging to execution. By April 2020, the flogging punishment was abolished from the Saudi court system. If the rape victim first entered the rapist's company in violation of 'purdah', she also stands to be punished by the law's current holdings. But generally, the punishment for rape in Saudi Arabia is a public beheading after administering the rapist with a sedative. They hand down the same punishment for drug trafficking as well.

(References: The Saudi Gazette, Associated Press, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, etc)

In India, after the Anti-Rape Bill of April 2013, culprits are liable to life imprisonment (which is actually 14 years), imprisonment for entire life and even the death sentence in the rarest of rare cases. The amendment also expanded to include a lot of other kinds of sexual assault that amount to rape.

In France, the lawmakers and public are pretty hardcore about their rape laws. They hand out 15-year sentences for rape, which can be extended to 30 or life depending on the extent of damage and brutality.

The sentence for rape in China is death in most cases. In North Korea, rapists are sentenced to death by firing squads. In Afghanistan, convicted rapists are shot in the head within 4 days or hanged to death depending on the judgement handed out by the court. In Egypt, rapists are simply hanged. Rapists in Iran are also sentenced to death, sometimes by hanging but sometimes (allegedly) also by stoning. In Israel, if someone is convicted of raping a woman, he is liable to be sentenced to 16 years in prison.

In United States, the usual sentence for a convicted rapist depends on whether the trial falls under state or federal law. In cases under federal law, the punishments can range from a few years to imprisonment for the entirety of the rapist's life span. Rapists in Russia are usually sentenced to 3-6 years in prison. The jail term can go up to more than 10 years depending on the situation, such as if the person causes grievous harm and can be even higher (20 years) if it's a rare case.

In Norway, the perpetrator can be thrown in jail for a period of 4-15 years depending on how heinous the crime was. It is imperative to note that in ancient China, males had their manhood chopped off for crimes including adultery, extra-marital sex, and any promiscuous activity. According to the China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland and Stanford University Press's publication "Sex, Law and Society in late Imperia; Castration in China meant the severing of the male sexual organ in addition to testicles, after which male offenders were sentenced to work in the Monarch's palace as eunuchs. Husbands who committed adultery were punished with castration as required under this law.

Surgical castration of convicted rapists was also practiced in ancient Roman civilization. It goes without saying that in primitive civilizations, the removal of the manhood was sometimes used to demonstrate superiority or dominance over an enemy. Armies were sometimes known to sever the penises of their enemies to count the dead, as well as for trophies.