Child sex abusers in Indonesia to face chemical castration

Jakarta, May 26 (IANS) Child sex abuse is now punishable by death and chemical castration in Indonesia after President Joko Widodo issued a new law following the brutal gang rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl.

The battered body of the victim was discovered, naked and tied up, in a forest on the island of Sumatra after she was attacked by a group of teenagers in April. Seven offenders have been jailed for 10 years.

“Sexual violence against children, as I have said, is an extraordinary crime,” President Joko Widodo said on Wednesday after issuing the new law.

“We hope that this law will be a deterrent for offenders and can suppress sexual crimes against children,” Widodo said.

The law is effective immediately, although Indonesia’s parliament has the power to overturn it or demand revisions.

“These acts threaten and endanger children, and they destroy the lives and development of children for the future,” the president said.

Chemical castration is a legal form of punishment in South Korea, Poland and the Czech Republic, as well as in some US and Australian states.

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