Pakistan withdraws castration for violators of a law for being anti-Islamic

Pakistan withdrew a clause provided in the Penal Law approved this week that established chemical castration as a possible penalty for rapists considering it against Islam, the Pakistani authorities revealed this Friday.

“Chemical castration for habitual rapists was eliminated from the 2021 Penal Law Amendment Bill before it was approved by the joint session” of Parliament on Wednesday, the parliamentary secretary for Legislation and Justice, Maleeka Bukhari, told Efe after advance the measure in a press conference.

Bukhari explained that the government decided to withdraw the clause after the Council of Islamic Ideology, a government body that interprets the legislation from the perspective of Islam, announced that chemical castration was “anti-Islamic.”

Chemical castration had been approved at the end of last year through a presidential decree in response to controversial violations that occurred in the country, but the government had to ratify the measure in Parliament to make it permanent.

The drastic decision had already received numerous criticisms from human rights activists, who considered that this punishment would not help to eradicate sexual violence and that it was also contrary to international norms.

The human rights group Amnesty International (AI) had denounced yesterday in a statement the new law approved this week in Pakistan.

“This cruel and inhumane legislation not only violates Pakistan’s constitutional and international legal obligations. Nor will it do anything to address the scourge of sexual violence, “AI activist for South Asia, Rimmel Mohydin, had said in the note.

Thus, he added, “instead of increasing punishments, the authorities must address deep-seated problems in the criminal justice system that invariably deny justice to victims” or the lack of sensitivity and preparation of the Police.

The decree had been approved by the Pakistani government after the rape in September last year of a woman in front of her two children after the vehicle in which they were traveling overnight ran out of gas on the road.

The fact that a Lahore city police chief blamed the woman for traveling alone at night worsened the situation, unleashing a wave of outrage in Pakistan and calls for urgent measures due to the lack of protection for women.

Before the rape of the woman in front of her children, a series of abuses of minors had occurred since 2015 that shook the country, such as the revelation of a pedophile network that had filmed at least 19 children. EFE