Indonesia President, Joko Widodo, has said that chemical castration could reduce sex crimes and “wipe out” paedophilia in Indonesia.
He made this known to BBC‘s Yalda Hakim, adding that the constitution respects human rights but there would be “no compromise” when it comes to punishing such sexual crimes.
“We are strong and we have to be very firm. We will hand out the maximum penalty for sexual crimes. This will not be compromised,” he said.
When he was asked if chemical castration works with sex offenders, Widodo said: “In my opinion… chemical castration, if we enforce it consistently, will reduce sex crimes and wipe them out over time.”
Earlier this month, the country passed new laws including minimum sentences, chemical castration and possible execution for paedophiles after a 14-year-old girl was raped and murdered on her way from school in April.
The Indonesian Doctors Association has condemned the law, saying that it is unethical and goes against their oath of office.
Dr. Prijo Sidipratomo, the chairman of the medical ethics committee of the association said:
You cannot cure paedophilia by chemical castration.
How long can it last? Let’s say the patient has it for three years while in jail. But after his release he can go to a doctor and reverse it with hormone therapy. Chemical castration is not completely irreversible, so it is not effective.
Furthermore, the punishment cannot be done as long as the executor is a medical doctor, because we have to uphold medical ethics. When you become a doctor, you have to swear that you won’t do anything harmful to any human being.
My message to all doctors across Indonesia is that as long as you’re a doctor, you cannot do it, even if the government says it is to punish a rapist.
It is harmful and it’s against human rights.
When asked about the rejection of the punishment by doctors, Widodo said:
“That’s fine if doctors don’t want to do it. We can use other doctors. We could use military doctors. There are lots of people who want to do it. That’s not a problem.”
He said that if the courts hands out the punishment of chemical castration, “we will carry it out”.
He also spoke about the ongoing maritime rights dispute in the South China Sea, the country’s fight against corruption, and its recent tax amnesty scheme to plug its budget deficit.