Sunday, March 11, 2012

Moldova: Chemical Castration for Sex Offenders

Chemical castration will be mandatory in Moldova for those convicted of violently abusing children under 15.

Under a new law, foreigners and Moldovans convicted of violent paedophile offences will be chemically castrated. Rapists will also face castration on a case-by-case basis. Many Moldovans believe their country has become a haven for sex tourism, AP reports, with 5 foreigners of the 9 men convicted of child sex offences over the past 2 years.

Chemical castration involves a man taking hormones which suppress the production of testosterone for 3 months, reducing his sex drive. Some MPs in Moldova’s parliament questioned the effectiveness of the measure, pointing out that it is reversible, and pressing legislators to explore other methods.

Moldovan legislator Valeriu Munteanu, of the Liberal Party, said the measure was necessary after the outrage sparked by a number of cases involving US and West European nationals. “The Republic of Moldova has been transformed in recent years into ‘a tourist destination’ for Western pedophiles and there have been cases where rapists have repeatedly offended even after they served prison time,” said Munteanu.

Amnesty International Moldova criticised the decision, saying it erodes fundamental rights to physical and mental integrity. Executive Director Cristina Pereteatcu described chemical castration as “incompatible with human rights, which are the foundation of any civilized democratic society”. The new law will become active on July 1. Legislation for mandatory chemical castration exists in Poland and Russia, and both Germany and the Czech Republic have used voluntary surgical castration to treat sex offenders. ~ AP, Mar 7; BBC, Mar 6

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