Indonesia introduces death penalty for child rapists

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Indonesia has sanctioned the death penalty for child rapists.

The decision to hand-out tougher punishments for sex crimes against children follows several high-profile crimes that have left the nation shocked, including the gang rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in Bengkulu province.

While the death penalty is now the maximum sentence, those jailed for such crimes could face chemical castration and be forced to wear electronic monitoring devices after their release.

Previously, the maximum sentence for rape – of an adult or child – was 14 years imprisonment.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo said the introduction of harsher penalties was “intended to overcome the crisis caused by sexual violence against children”.

His intervention comes after student Yuyun, 14, was attacked, gang raped and murdered by a reported 14 men, on her way home from school in April. Her body was found beaten, bound and dumped in a ravine. Earlier this month, an 18-year-old factory worker was brutally gang raped and killed in Banten province.

Both cases have caused national outrage, with people protesting on the streets to demand action against the country’s epidemic of violence against women, in scenes reminiscent of the nationwide marches following the murder of student Jyoti Singh in New Delhi in 2012.