The joint session of the Pakistan Parliament on Wednesday approved the Criminal Law Bill 2021, which seeks to punish habitual rapists by chemical castration, amending the Pakistan Penal Code 1860 and the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898.

 The  Bill defines, chemical castration is a process where a person is rendered incapable of performing sexual intercourse for any period of his life, as may be determined by the court. The process is done through drugs which shall be conducted through a notified medical board.

Jamaat-i-Islami Senator Mushtaq Ahmed protested over the bill and termed it un-Islamic and against Sharia. He, according to reports, said a rapist should be hanged publicly, but there was no mention of castration in Sharia.

In an interview last year, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said though he believes that rapists should be hanged publicly, it would not be an internationally accepted process and hence Pakistan was considering chemical castration. “I think he  should be hanged publicly.

In 2020, President Arif Alvi signed the Anti-Rape Ordinance 2020 which allowed chemical castration. In a draft, it was earlier decided that the perpetrator’s consent would be required for the procedure. The final ordinance of 2020 finalised that the decision will be of the judge. The period can range from six months to life.

The penalty of chemical castration is considered cruel and inhuman by Amnesty International. “Instead of trying to deflect attention, the authorities should focus on the crucial work of reforms that will address the root causes of sexual violence and give survivors the justice they deserve,” Amnesty said in an earlier statement.

Rapists and child molesters should have public hanging. You do not know the real statistics as well, because it’s under-reported. People do not report it due to being scared or ashamed, women are ashamed, no one wants to tell,” Imran Khan had said in 2020, as reported by CNN.

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