Pakistan drops chemical castration as punishment for serial rapists

By Asif Shahzad

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan has removed a clause from a new penal code that had allowed chemical castration as a possible punishment for serial rapists, an official said Friday.

“We have changed the criminal law and decided that the chemical castration clause will be removed,” Maleeka Bukhari, parliamentary law secretary, said at a press conference in Islamabad.

She said the decision was made after the Islamic Ideology Council, a state-run body that interprets laws from an Islamic perspective, found that chemical castration was un-Islamic.

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government hastily passed nearly three dozen laws in a joint sitting of parliament on Wednesday, including the Penal Code against rape.

Chemical castration, which is performed using drugs and is reversible, can be a punishment for some sexual crimes in countries including Poland, South Korea, the Czech Republic and some US states.

Khan said last year that he wanted to impose the penalty in the midst of a national outcry over rising crimes 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 with weapons .

Less than 3% of rapists are convicted in Pakistani courts, according to the non-profit organization War Against Rape.

(Reporting by Asif Shahzad; Editing by Peter Graff)

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