Indonesia to Kill, Castrate Pedophiles

New rules follow rape, murder of 14-year-old
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2016 8:00 AM CDT
Indonesia to Kill, Castrate Pedophiles
Activists light candles during a vigil for a teenage girl who was raped and murdered on the island of Sumatra.   (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

Indonesia is officially a terrifying place for pedophiles: Effective immediately, child sex offenders can face the death penalty or chemical castration under new rules approved by President Joko Widodo, reports AFP. Offenders can also receive a maximum of 20 years in jail—double the previous maximum sentence—and may be forced to wear electronic monitoring devices after leaving prison, per the New York Times. The changes come a month after the gang rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl as she walked home from school in Sumatra. Her naked body was found days later tied up in the woods. Seven boys, ages 16 and 17, were sentenced to 10 years in prison for the crime, which led to calls for harsher punishments.

"These crimes have disturbed our sense of peace, security, and public order," Joko says. "So, we will handle it in an extraordinary way." But some say the new regulation isn't the right tactic in Indonesia, which already faces backlash over its use of capital punishment for drug offenders. "In most cases the perpetrators know the victims, and these punishments are so severe that it may discourage victims from reporting the rapes," a rep for Human Rights Watch tells Reuters. The organization adds that chemical castration—in which drugs are used to reduce libido—is "a false solution." The focus should instead be on prevention through school-based programs and treatment for people at risk of abusing children, the group says. (More Indonesia stories.)

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