Pakistan: Leading Imams Ban ‘Non-Islamic’ Chemical Castration of Rapists.
Islamic Council of Ideology of Pakistan repealed An anti-rape clause in the law allowing chemical castration as a possible punishment for convicted rapists on Friday, just two days after the nation’s parliament enacted the law introducing the penalty, reported Voice of America (VOA).
“The Islamic Council of Ideology had opposed the punishment of chemical castration for rapists as a non-Islamic practice, so we decided to remove it from the law,” Maleeka Bukhari, Pakistan’s parliamentary law secretary, told reporters. November 19 in Islamabad.
The Pakistan Islamic Ideology Council is “a constitutional advisory body mandated to interpret and ensure that all Pakistani laws are in line with Islam,” according to the US government-funded VOA.
“It would have been unconstitutional to pass the law since all laws must be under Sharia. [Islamic law] and the Islamic holy book the Koran ”, Bukhari indicated on Friday according to Sputnik, a Russian state news agency.
“Therefore, we cannot pass any law that goes against these values,” Bukhari added.
Pakistan’s parliament passed an anti-rape bill on November 17 that came into effect immediately. The law had required chemical castration of serial rapists, which was a punishment that Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan had specifically advocated for over the past year. Khan said he hoped to introduce chemical castration as a penalty for rapists in response to an ongoing Increase in the rape of women and children across Pakistan.
“The prime minister’s statements came amid a national protest stemming from the September 2020 assault on a woman, who was pulled from her car and raped by two men at gunpoint in front of her children, when her car stopped on the side of the road, ”VOA recalled on Friday.
The incident sparked a stir from the Pakistani public, who subsequently demanded that Islamabad apply harsher penalties for sex offenders to deter rape. When asked by a reporter about the September 2020 freeway rape a week after it took place, Khan said he believed that the perpetrators should be publicly hanged. He acknowledged that this form of punishment could have jeopardized a “preferential trade status” granted to Pakistan by the European Union (EU) due to the bloc’s views on human rights. The consideration inspired Khan to consider other rape penalties, such as chemical castration.
“The way there is murder in the first degree, second degree, third degree, this [rape] must be graded in the same way, and when there is first grade [rape], castrate them, ”the prime minister told reporters at the time. “Trade on them and make them unable to do this.”
“In Pakistan, at least 11 rape cases are reported daily with more than 22,000 rape cases reported to police across the country in the past six years,” Asian News International (ANI) reported on October 18, citing data provided by the Pakistani government.
“Only 77 defendants out of 22,000 cases were found to have been convicted and the conviction rate is sadly around 0.3 percent,” the Indian news agency observed.
Pakistan’s new anti-rape law promises to enact a series of reforms designed to discourage serious sexual crimes. It appears to “allow speedy convictions and severe sentences for perpetrators, including the death penalty,” according to the VOA. “The legislation requires the government to establish special courts throughout Pakistan to try rape cases in secret and decide them ‘quickly, preferably within four months.’
In addition, the law will establish “a national registry of sex offenders” maintained in part by a National Registration and Database Authority, the US broadcaster detailed on Friday. “The identity of the victims will be protected and special ‘rape crisis cells’ will be formed to conduct medical examinations on the victims within hours of the crime.”
People convicted of “gang rape” face severe punishments such as the death penalty or life imprisonment, according to the VOA.