Friday, February 6, 2009

Ouch - Czech Law Castrates Sex Offenders

Rights group calls to ban Czech castration law

(CNN) -- The Czech Republic's practice of surgically castrating convicted sex offenders is "invasive, irreversible and mutilating" and should stop immediately, the Council of Europe's Anti-Torture Committee said in a report made public Thursday.

The central European country castrated at least 94 prisoners in the 10 years up to April 2008, when investigators from the Council of Europe, a human-rights forum, visited the Czech Republic.

The Council of Europe condemned the practice as "degrading."

The procedure is being performed even on first-time, non-violent offenders, such as exhibitionists, its investigation revealed.

Prisoners have to request castration under Czech law, but many fear they will be jailed for life if they do not, the investigation found.

"In practically all the cases, these patients indicated that their application was at least partially instigated by fear of long-term detention," the report said.

"Some patients claimed that the treating sexologist had explicitly told them that surgical castration was the only available option to them and that refusal would mean lifelong detention."

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