Indonesian President Joko Widodo has approved a law prescribing the death penalty as the maximum sentence for child r*pists, after several brutal gang r*pes sparked public outrage in the country.
S3xual violence is prevalent in Southeast Asia’s most populous country, but gang rape is unusual.
Social media erupted in calls for harsher punishment following a case early this month, in which a group of men was charged with raping and killing a schoolgirl in Bengkulu in the western island of Sumatra. The case prompted rights groups to accuse the government of not doing enough to protect women and children, and provoked a tweet by Widodo himself seeking punishment of the perpetrators, although his call came more than a month after the event.
Today however, Widodo said those responsible for s3xual abuse of children, as well as repeat s3x offenders, could also face chemical castration and be tagged with an electronic chip to track their movements, citing the law he signed.
“S*xual violence against children is an extraordinary crime,” Widodo told a news conference at the presidential palace. “This regulation is meant to overcome (such) incidents, in which we have seen a significant rise.”