In Madagascar, a bill aimed at establishing new rules for child rapists was adopted by deputies on February 2. The project, then validated by the Senate, provides for the possibility of resorting to surgical or chemical castration for child rapists.
Meeting in ordinary session on Friday February 2, Malagasy deputies unanimously approved the bill amending the articles of the penal code relating to rape and other sexual assaults, as proposed by the government.
“ The reform of this law stems from the growing awareness of the number of sexual crimes committed against minor children. Its objective is to establish deterrence by introducing new sanctions and more rigorous repression“, indicates a press release from the lower house. “ The law redefines the notion of rape and provides for penalties based on the age of the victims, while seeking to neutralize sexual predators through the introduction of surgical or chemical castration“, he adds.
While the old code provided for sentences of five to twenty years of forced labor for perpetrators of rape, the new code now provides for life imprisonment and the possibility of surgical castration for those convicted of raping a minor under ten years old.
“ If the victim is between ten and thirteen years old, the defendant will have to undergo chemical castration in addition to a sentence of 15 to 20 years of forced labor. This sentence will be 10 to 20 years if the victim is between 13 and 18 years old. On the other hand, if the perpetrator is a minor, he will escape any castration.“, specifies the code.
Note that the bill was proposed by Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina last month, and was one of his main campaign promises during his re-election the previous year.
However, international organizations have criticized the new law. The BBC reports that Tigere Chagutah, Amnesty’s regional director for East and Southern Africa, called for the new law to be scrapped, calling it cruel, inhumane and degrading.