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Bill passed allowing chemical castration of rape convicts

The bill allows the chemical castration of rape convicts. Source: FILE.

ISLAMABAD: The joint session of Parliament on Wednesday approved a bill allowing the chemical castration of rape convicts.

The ‘Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trail) Bill 2021’ was presented in the House by Adviser on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan. Jamaat-i-Islami lawmakers introduced an amendment demanding the replacement of chemical castration with public hanging. However, the amendment was opposed and new section in the bill passed with the majority vote of the treasury lawmakers.

Last year in November, Prime Minister Imran Khan had approved, in principle, a law for the chemical castration of rapists. The decision was made during a federal cabinet meeting wherein the law ministry presented a draft of the anti-rape ordinance. The draft included increasing women’s role in policing, fast-tracking rape cases and witness protection.

PM Imran Khan had said no delay will be tolerated, stressing that this was a serious matter, “We need to ensure a safe environment for our citizens.”

The premier had said the legislation will be clear and transparent with strict enforcement. He had added rape survivors will be able to register complaints without fear, adding that the government will protect their identity. The federal cabinet approved strict severe punishment for rape convicts.

In an interview, PM Imran Khan had suggested public hanging and chemically castrating the convicts to curb rising sexual violence in the country. PM Imran Khan had said that the government will soon introduce three-tier legislation including registration of sex offenders, exemplary punishment for rape and child abuse and effective policing.

Last month, the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has declared the castration of rape convicts un-Islamic and as contrary to the teaching of the religion and gave suggestions to replace it.

The notification was issued after a two-day session of the CII, which also expressed concerns regarding incidents of sexual harassment reported from seminaries, universities, and institutes of Islamic education.

It stated that the CII has decided to write letters to Wifaq Ul Madaris, the federation of Islamic seminaries in Pakistan, Higher Education Commission, and federal and provincial education departments, suggesting to hold a national educational conference.

The federal cabinet then went on to approve in principle the Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trial) Ordinance, 2020, and the Pakistan Penal Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020. It later sought the opinion of the CII on the matter.

 

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