Kremlin mulls chemical castration for child molesters

10th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday proposed voluntary chemical castration for child molesters amid mounting concern over sex crimes against minors in Russia.

"The punishment should be as strict as possible," Medvedev said at a government meeting, the first time a top Russian leader backed the controversial measure.

"I suggest discussing these measures, including medical procedures on such persons, including injections that block hormonal activity," he said in comments released by the Kremlin.

"Considering the frightening crimes committed, I think our duty is to at least discuss this issue," Medvedev said.

Injections would "probably be possible only on a voluntary basis," and would only be used against convicted offenders, said Medvedev.

In 2009, A Just Russia, a pro-Kremlin political party, submitted a bill that proposed making chemical castration mandatory for paedophiles but it was never put to the vote.

The possibility of injecting offenders with drugs reducing libido was rekindled late last month by Russia's top investigator Alexander Bastrykin, who called for a tough "reaction to staggering cruelty and cynicism of sex crimes against minors" committed in recent weeks.

There were more than 9,500 sex crimes against minors in Russia last year, said Bastrykin, who heads the influential Investigative Committee.

© 2011 AFP

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