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Rights group condemns Moldova chemical castration law

Amnesty International Moldova (AI) [advocacy website, in Romanian] on Monday urged [press release, in Romanian] the Center for Human Rights of Moldova [official website] to assess the constitutionality of a new law that allows chemical castration of anyone found guilty of violent pedophilia. The new law, which took effect on Sunday, was unanimously introduced and passed [BBC report] by the nation's parliament in March but vetoed [Huffington Post report] by Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti [BBC profile] who argued that the bill was in violation of fundamental human rights. In May, however, the parliament again voted to approve [AllMoldova report] the bill and overcome the presidential veto. The Council of Europe (COE) [official website] has echoed AI's criticism of the law.

Castration laws against sexual offenders have been criticized. In February, the COE's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Punishment (CPT) [official website] released [JURIST report] a report [text] calling for an end to castration procedures as punishment of sexual offenders. The particular focus was on Germany's castration law, which the COE alleged was against international standards. During the same month, the Russian government approved a bill that would impose stricter punishment on sexual offenders, permitting them to submit voluntarily to chemical castration after it was first introduced and considered [JURIST reports] a year earlier. In July 2011, the South Korea Ministry of Justice [official website] enacted [JURIST report] a law allowing the use of chemical castration on sex offenders convicted of attacking children under the age of 16 years old.

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