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Pakistan: forced chemical castration law 'cruel and inhuman'

Yesterday, Pakistani parliament passed controversial Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2021 

‘Rather than ratcheting up punishments, the authorities should address the deep-seated problems in the criminal justice system’ - Rimmel Mohydin

Amnesty International has condemned as “cruel and inhuman” a new law which would allow for the forced chemical castration of repeat rapists in Pakistan. 

Yesterday, the Pakistani parliament passed the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2021 which would allow for forced chemical castration as a possible punishment for repeat offenders of sexual violence. 

Forced chemical castration violates the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment under international human rights law. 

The new legislation comes at a time when the Pakistani authorities are also considering new measures to criminalise torture by the Pakistani police. A Torture and Custodial Death (Prevention and Punishment) Act 2019 has been approved by the Pakistani Senate, though has yet to be brought into law.

Amnesty is calling for Pakistan to reject torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment, including the use of forced chemical castration.  

Rimmel Mohydin, Amnesty International’s South Asia Campaigner, said: 

“This cruel and inhuman legislation not only violates Pakistan’s international and constitutional legal obligations - it will also do nothing to address the scourge of sexual violence. 

“Rather than ratcheting up punishments, the authorities should address the deep-seated problems in the criminal justice system that invariably deny justice to victims. 

“Chemical castrations will not solve a deficient police force or inadequately-trained investigators.”

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