Indonesia has toughened its stance on perpetrators of sexual violence against children by proposing a harsher punishment of chemical castration for convicted child sex offenders. (AFP Photo/Ye Aung Thu)

Medical, Legal Experts Weigh In on Govt Push for Chemical Castration

BY :JAKARTA GLOBE

OCTOBER 23, 2015

Jakarta. Medical and legal experts have stepped forward to throw their support behind Indonesia's recent move to legalize the use of chemical castration to punish convicted sexual predators of children, offering the government their own professional advice.

“I agree with [chemical] castration. We cannot, however, inject the [the perpetrator] with just one shot; it has to be carried out more than once over a specific period of time," said H.N. Nazar of the Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI) as quoted by Metrotvnews.com.

"[The procedure] is like killing cancer cells; you cannot get rid of cancer with just one shot."

Despite supporting the government's harsh stance on the matter, he disagreed with the course of treatment of injecting female hormones into the perpetrator's system to inhibit sexual desires.

"The human body has a kind of self-healing mechanism. We need to take this into consideration," Nazar said, referring to the body's ability to grow immune to certain chemicals.

The surgeon also warned officials to exercise caution in choosing an "executor" for the procedure, saying: "The government cannot ask doctors to perform the task, because it is in violation of a physician's professional code of conduct."

Separately, former anti-graft judge Asep Iwan Iriawan also spoke up in support of chemical castration, waving away accusations of the punishment violating human rights.

"Suppressing sexual urges is not a human rights violation, but it could be considered as revoking a person's sexual rights and the government would need to put strict rules in place to regulate the issue," Asep said as quoted by Metrotvnews.com.

The former judge views chemical castration as tangible proof of the country's efforts to battle sexual violence against children, but realized it would not completely eradicate such crimes.

"[Chemical castration] would not keep these crimes from recurring, but at least Indonesia has take a serious step in dealing with the issue," he said.

"It's like punishing people for theft: though we have laws punishing those found guilty of stealing, there will always be others committing the crime everyday."

To strengthen Indonesia's fight against child sex abuse, Asep urged the government to create a rehabilitation program that would provide psychological support for convicted pedophiles and prevent them from relapsing.

The country has grappled with an alarming surge in child sex abuse cases in recent years.

In May 2014, 24-year-old factory worker Andri Sobari from Sukabumi, West Java, was charged with sexually abusing 73 young boys at a public bath. That same year, 62-year-old Endang Juhana was arrested for sexually assaulting 10 children between the ages of 6 and 8 in Sumedang, West Java.

The most recent case to shock the nation was that of a 9-year-old schoolgirl in Kalideres, West Jakarta, whose lifeless body was found in a cardboard box. Agus Darmawan, 39, confessed to raping the child before strangling her with the cord of a phone charger.

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