Pakistan

New Pakistan law allows chemical castration of serial rapists


Pakistan has introduced chemical castration as a possible punishment for serial rapists under a law that also calls for faster trials of suspected sexual offenders, a government official said on Thursday.

Parliament passed the law on Wednesday and it came into effect immediately, government official Waqar Hussain said.

The government and its allies on Wednesday pulled off a victory against the opposition during a joint sitting of parliament by succeeding in passing the bills that pave the way for holding the next general elections in the country through the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and giving around nine million overseas Pakistanis the right to cast their votes in the 2023 polls.

Among other bills, the one ensuring expeditious resolution of rape and sexual abuse crimes in respect of women and children through special investigation teams and special courts was passed.

Also read: Cabinet approves tough law against rape

The Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trial) Bill, 2021 aims to provide efficacious procedures, speedy trial, evidence collection and matters connected to it. Another bill to effectively tackle the pervading instances of rape and sexual abuse in respect of women and children through changes in the substantive law was also passed.

Chemical castration, carried out by the use of drugs and reversible, is practised in Poland, South Korea, the Czech Republic and some US states.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said last year he wanted to introduce the penalty amid a national outcry over increasing offences and the specific case of a mother of two driving along a major highway who was dragged out of her car and raped by two men at gunpoint.

Fewer than 3% of rapists are convicted in courts in Pakistan, according to the non-profit organisation, War Against Rape.

Amnesty International has called for investigations into the causes of sexual assaults instead of opting for harsher punishments.

(With input from News Desk)


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