JAKARTA: President Joko Widodo on Wednesday (May 25) signed a government regulation in lieu of the law approving the death penalty as a maximum sentence for sexual crimes against children.
According to the regulation, offenders could face chemical castration and be monitored with an electronic chip tracking their movements. Other forms of punishment included in the bill extend to life imprisonment, as well as a minimum of 10 to 20 years in jail.
“Sexual violence against children is an extraordinary crime,” the President said at a news conference at the presidential palace, adding that he hoped the regulation would keep perpetrators in check and discourage sexual crimes.
The harsher stance for child rapists and perpetrators of sexual violence against children comes after activists and masses called for reform, in the wake of the brutal gang rape and murder of a 14-year-old-school girl in Bengkulu on the western island of Sumatra in April.
The incident erupted on social media after activists spoke out, sparking public outrage and prompting protests in the capital.
The National Commission on Violence against Women reportedly gets 35 cases of sexual violence towards women every day. Indonesia meanwhile sentences rapists to a maximum of 14 years in prison.
By Chandni Vatani
Source: Channel NewsAsia