Indonesian rights group opposes plan to castrate offenders

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Jakarta, Feb 15 (IANS) Indonesia’s top human rights watchdog has opposed the government’s plan to use chemical castration as a punishment for convicted child molesters over the violation of human rights principle.

“It violates human rights. The offenders should go through correctional period instead of being castrated,” Xinhua quoted Siti Noor Laila, deputy chairman of the National Commission for Human Rights (Komnas HAM), as saying on Monday.

She said that punishment should take into account human rights and should only be used to correct misbehaviour of convicts.

She also said proper punishment would eventually help offenders follow the community’s social system.

“Castration can be classified as inhumane and despicable, and it doesn’t comply with Indonesia’s constitution and commitments for human rights,” Laila said.

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The Indonesian constitution protects everyone, including violators, from torture and misconduct that lowers a person’s dignity.

Besides that, Laila said Indonesia has ratified an international convention against torture, misconduct or despicable and inhumane punishment. The ratification was legalised through Law No. 5/1998.

Indonesia saw rampant child-sex assault cases in recent years that involve serial pedophiles.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo planned to issue a regulation in lieu of law, locally known as Perpu, containing harsher punishment against those committed in sexual violence against children.

The new punishment includes injection of a hormone to reduce libido and sexual activities against the offenders.

The Perpu will also categorise sexual assault against children as an extraordinary crime, similar to terrorism, drug abuse and corruption.

Indonesia came after Malaysia and India who considered taking similar measures to deal with such cases. South Korea was the first Asian country to legalise the punishment in 2011.

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The punishment has long been applied in several states in the US, Russia and Poland.

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