Nigerian state passes law to legalise surgical castration of child rapists

The bill was signed off by state governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai on Wednesday [September 16], who has previously voiced his support of castration to prevent rapists from re-offending.

Lawmakers in Kaduna State, Nigeria have approved a bill that allows surgical castration as punishment for those found guilty of raping a child under the age of 14.

The State Penal Code (Amendment) Law 2020 allows for surgical castration of male convicts and the removal of Fallopian tubes for female convicts if found guilty of raping a minor.

“Whoever has sexual intercourse with a child below the age of fourteen years shall be punished with surgical castration and death,” reads the new law. “Where a female adult is convicted for the offence of rape of a child, the Court shall punish the accused with Bilateral Salpingectomy and death.

“Where the victim is above fourteen years, the Court shall on conviction sentence the accused with a punishment of surgical castration and life imprisonment. Where the convict is a child, the Court shall order as appropriate under the Children and Young Person Law Cap 26 Laws of Kaduna State 1991.”

This decision follows after a wave of rapes and brutal attacks on women in the country, prompting mass public outcry and forcing governors of all 36 states to declare a state of emergency in June 2020.

Since then, many Nigerians have been calling for tougher punishment, with some even supporting imposing of the death penalty or surgical castration.

Surgical castration is a procedure enacted on males only, in which the testicles are surgically removed. The female version is called Bilateral Salpingectomy. Surgical castration is different to chemical castration, in which a drug is administered to reduce sexual urges, fantasies and capacity for arousal. It does not involve sterilization and is not permanent.

Chemical castration is legal in Indonesia, and in 2019 child rapist Muhammad Aris became the first man in the country to receive this punishment after he was found guilty of raping nine children.

It is also legal in other parts of Europe like Ukraine and Czech Republic. American states Alabama, California, Florida, Louisiana and Wisconsin also have provisions in their laws that allow for chemical castration.

However, this procedure has garnered much criticism, with some believing it fails to redress flaws in the legal system.

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