Pakistani government approves chemical castration of rape convicts
ISLAMABAD – Amid protest by the opposition parties, the government approved 33 bills including the Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trail) Bill 2021, allowing chemical castration of rape convicts.
Reports in local media said the bill was presented by PM’s aide on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan with Jamaat-i-Islami members introducing an amendment demanding the replacement of chemical castration with hanging.
JI lawmaker Mushtaq Ahmed termed the bill un-Islamic and against Sharia. Ahmed said a rapist should be hanged in public, as the Islamic legal system doesn’t allow such punishment.
The joint session opposed the amendment and the bill was passed with the majority vote. “Chemical castration is a process duly notified by rules framed by the prime minister, whereby a person is rendered incapable of performing sexual intercourse for any period of his life, as may be determined by the court through administration of drugs which shall be conducted through a notified medial board”, the bill cited.
The recent legislation related to sex crimes was rooted by public outcry against a recent surge in incidents of rape of women and children in the South Asian country.
The incumbent authorities will establish special courts across the country to expedite trials of rape suspects and decide cases of sexual abuse expeditiously, preferably within four months.
Officials will also keep the record of serial offenders will with the help of the National Database and Registration Authority. It also added that the identity of survivors will be protected and anti-rape crisis cells will be formed to conduct medical examinations of victims within hours of the incident.
The convicted persons will be sentenced to death or imprisoned for the rest of their lives, while habitual offenders could be subjected to chemical castration.
Human rights commended the legislation but underscored the need for improved policing and prosecution to ensure justice for victims of sexual violence.
Earlier in 2020, PM Imran Khan approved a law for the chemical castration of serial rapists. The decision was made during a federal cabinet meeting wherein the law ministry presented a draft of the anti-rape ordinance.