- Less than 3% of sexual assault or rape prosecutions in Pakistan result in a conviction.
- If chemical castration is assigned as a punishment, it “shall be conducted through a notified medical board,” according to the new legislation.
- Pakistan joins South Korea, Poland, the Czech Republic and some US states, where chemical castration has been introduced.
New amendments to existing legislation, which allow for expedited conviction and more severe punishments for rapists, have been voted in by the Pakistani MPs yesterday.
Criminals convicted of multiple cases of rape now could face chemical castration in Pakistan as the country’s parliament overwhelmingly supported new legislation designed to stop the rise in sexual offenses.
New amendments introduce the death penalty or a life sentence for gang rape as well as chemical castration for repeat sex offenders, with the consent of the convict.
Chemical castration was described in the bill as a process through which “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.”
It’s planned to establish special courts across the country to make sure that verdicts in sexual assault cases are delivered “expeditiously, preferably within four months.” If chemical castration is assigned as a punishment, it “shall be conducted through a notified medical board,” according to the new legislation.
Mushtaq Ahmed, a senator for the religious Jamaat-i-Islami party, had earlier denounced the bill as un-Islamic. Ahmed argued that there was no mention of chemical castration in Sharia law and that rapists are to be hanged in public.
The measure was put on the table a year ago by Pakistani President Arif Alvi in response to a vast public outcry over a spike across the country in cases of rape involving both women and children.
Back then, Amnesty International decried chemical castration as a “cruel, inhumane” treatment, advising Islamabad to instead focus on reforming its “flawed” justice system and to ensure justice for the victim.
According to local NGO War Against Rape, less than 3% of sexual assault or rape prosecutions in Pakistan result in a conviction.