Russia to vote on chemical castration for molesters
Russian lawmakers prepared to give early backing Tuesday to a bill allowing judges to order the chemical castration of convicted child molesters.
The tough new measure was proposed by President Dmitry Medvedev in May and is almost certain to be approved by the Kremlin-controlled State Duma lower house of parliament in the first of three required votes.
"This is a response to society's concerns over the rise of sexual crimes against children," leading ruling party lawmaker Oleg Morozov said in televised remarks.
Medvedev's bill is a watered-downed version of a 2009 plan that would have made chemical castration mandatory for paedophiles.
That measure never reached the floor for a vote and the new version would only apply the penalty against repeat offenders who are diagnosed with psychological problems by doctors.
First-time offenders against children 13 and under would receive jail terms of 15 to 20 years.
The chemical castration process involves the injection of drugs that reduce a person's libido. The bill says the chemicals may also be administered on a voluntary basis to convicts who want to reform.
Russia's chief investigator said in April that there were more than 9,500 sex crimes against minors in Russia last year.
© 2011 AFP