Amid widespread criticism after Indonesia passed contentious laws authorizing chemical castration for paedophiles earlier this month, President Joko Widodo strongly justified the move, which he claimed will “wipe out” sexual offenders from the country. Widodo said Indonesian constitution respects human rights, adding that the country cannot compromise when it comes to punishing sexual crimes.
In early October, Widodo proposed a string of tough legislations including chemical castration, minimum sentences and execution for convicted paedophiles, following brutal gang rape and murder of a teenage girl in May, reports International Business Times. The proposals prompted a fierce debate in the parliament with two opposition parties voting against castration but eventually the laws were passed.
Indonesian Doctors Association has opposed chemical castration of paedophiles, saying that the procedure would violate medical ethics, writes the BBC. Besides, experts believe that the punishment will fail to serve its purpose, as chemical castration can be reversed by hormone therapy.
In an extensive interview, Widodo touched upon wide-ranging issues including maritime dispute in the South China Sea, corruption, a recent tax amnesty and the government’s stance on homosexuality.