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Germany told to stop sex offender castration
Photo: DPA

Germany told to stop sex offender castration

Published: 22 Feb 2012 09:36 GMT+01:00
Updated: 22 Feb 2012 09:36 GMT+01:00

The Council of Europe's anti-torture committee on Wednesday urged Germany to abolish the surgical castration of sex offenders, warning that the operation could amount to "degrading treatment."

Germany offers sex offenders aged over 25 the option of surgical castration or orchiectomy, if the operation is cleared by an expert, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) said in a report.

The practice is rare, noted the committee after a visit to Germany in 2010, with less than five cases a year in the last decade.

"Notwithstanding this, the CPT must express its fundamental objections to the use of surgical castration as a means of treatment of sexual offenders," it said.

"Surgical castration is a mutilating, irreversible intervention and cannot be considered as a medical necessity in the context of the treatment of sexual offenders."

"In the CPT's view, surgical castration of detained sexual offenders could easily be considered as amounting to degrading treatment," it added.

According to the report, authorities in Germany cited the low reoffending rate for those who have opted for physical castration in their defence of the practice.

Of 104 people who were operated on between 1970 and 80, only 3 percent have reoffended, compared to 46 percent of the 53 others who refused castration or who did not secure expert approval for the operation.

Nevertheless, Berlin agreed to "examine if the issue should be discussed." Besides Germany, the Czech Republic is the only other of the 47 Council of Europe member states which gives sex offenders the option of physical castration.

AFP/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:28 February 22, 2012 by raandy
I was unaware that this was practiced here,albiet by the offenders choice.

There really is no treatment that is full proof for sex offenders or for any offender for that matter.

but 3% is a much better number than 46%.
11:52 February 22, 2012 by Kennneth Ingle
One of the few good ideas the Germans have and along comes Europe to stop it.
14:10 February 22, 2012 by kohcherp
I'm sure the original rape/abuse victims would find it not much less of a degrading treatment in comparison.

I say, keep the penalty. castrate those who deserve it. Its not enforced on every offender anyway.
14:14 February 22, 2012 by Louis Prince
Great Idea!

The rest of europe should probably stop criticising Germany, its one of the few countries left with functioning social systems.
15:38 February 22, 2012 by Bushdiver
If it were up to me I'd cut off their pecker, tongue, arms and legs. They would never be able to sexually offend anyone again. Keep the law. Do you think the sex offenders care about who they have degraded while comitting the crime. No mercy on them.
16:30 February 22, 2012 by Tanskalainen
They should mill-stone them instead.
16:32 February 22, 2012 by boopsie
Castration is barbaric. How can anyone point a finger at the stone age muslim idea of justice if punishment like this is still condoned in western society?
16:33 February 22, 2012 by kohcherp
@#7 "Castration is barbaric."

and rape isn't?
16:35 February 22, 2012 by iseedaftpeople
@ kohcherp

>and rape isn't?

Yes, rape is truly barbaric. But even more so is your apparent "an eye for an eye" attitude.
17:33 February 22, 2012 by boopsie
@ iseedaftpeople

Exactly.
18:38 February 22, 2012 by Baal
@boopsie

It's not a punishment. Sex offenders are given the option of being castrated and can refuse it.
19:03 February 22, 2012 by dorken
Its a shame this country does not do it,To much interfering from Europe for my likeing
19:42 February 22, 2012 by iseedaftpeople
@ Baal

I kinda hate being the one to bring it up --

but do you know who also routinely surgically castrated people?

The Nazis in their concentration camps.

There is a reason (and this is mainly it, historically) why surgical castration is almost entirely illegal in present-day Germany. It is inhumane and a gross violation of the most fundamental human rights. Yes, so is rape, no doubt about it. But rape already carries potentially long prison sentences for atonement, and two wrongs don't make a right.

And boopsie is right, we have no right to point fingers at seemingly barbaric legal traditions in Muslim countries, where adulterers are stoned to death or common thieves get their hand chopped off, if we consider surgical castration, voluntary or not, a legitimate legal remedy.
20:00 February 22, 2012 by Englishted
@dorken,#12

If you notice "this country" is doing it .

This country is Germany, and this e-paper is written in Germany.
21:20 February 22, 2012 by Baal
@iseedaftpeople

Yes, I know that the Nazis sterilized people they judged unfit for procreating the master race.

The sex offenders opt for it in the hope it will reduce their sex drive. It is not done to punish them.

You say it is almost entirely illegal in Germany but it doesn't infer that in the article.

You actually think that castating someone for buggering little children is the same as a woman being stoned to death on a trumped up adultery charge?
22:08 February 22, 2012 by boopsie
@ Baal

To answer your question, yes.

If someone abuses children they should pay a very high price but society must draw the line at mutilation which is what castration is, no matter how professionally and non invasively it is done. Actual bodily harm should be off limits to the state, no matter what the offense.
23:07 February 22, 2012 by chicagolive
All these people screaming its wrong never have been violated in such away, never had a person pin your child down tear off there clothes and brutalize your child, how weak of a parent are you if you really think a animal because that is what a person is who does this to a child(not excuses for doing it to a adult but that is a little different)they are a animal. They deserve no remorse or kindness for taking advantage of the weakest and most impressionable of our race.

A attack like this can permanently damage a child for life, but hey its okay poor sex offender dog he deserves kindness, I don't like saying this but people that even support grace for a offender deserves it when that grace comes visit there children.
06:47 February 23, 2012 by volvoman9
@chicagolive. Bravo! I would agree. I don't know what percentage of pedophiles re-offend but it seems that this condition is difficult if not impossible to correct.

The offenders rights do not justify a lifetime of misery for the victims (both those harmed and future victims). There is no question that some must forfeit for the good of all. I wish this were not so but it is the reality we must face.
12:26 February 23, 2012 by michael4096
@iseedaftpeople

The British were castrating people for homosexuality long after the nazis. Alan Turing commited suicide because of it
10:16 February 24, 2012 by murka
@michael4096:

Mr Turing was not surgically castrated:

"Turing was given a choice between imprisonment or probation conditional on his agreement to undergo hormonal treatment designed to reduce libido. He accepted chemical castration via oestrogen hormone injections." (Wikipedia)
11:23 February 24, 2012 by storymann
Sterilization of low income poorly educated blacks in the US was also a barbaric policy.

I agree with those that find this method unworthy of Nations that tout Human rights as a priority and judge other Nations based on them.
11:37 February 24, 2012 by michael4096
Mr Turing was not surgically castrated - Oh! 'Surgical!' That's alright then!
16:51 February 24, 2012 by RedLeg6
Gawd, I wish we did this mandatorily for sex offenders in the U.S!
18:16 February 24, 2012 by jabulani
Good for Germany... the rapist are Psichological MUTILATING their victimes the European countries , and USA should consider to follow suit !

IF IT WORKS EMBRACE IT..!!!

WELL DONE GERMANY!!! keep the high standards and do not worry about the resto of the world
18:41 February 24, 2012 by Sam Stewart
Well, I think they should not only cut off their eggs but cut off their penis as well. Let them pee through a tube for the rest of their lives.
19:54 February 24, 2012 by raandy
My goodness, the low life has arrived , all you have to do is put it out there and they will come .
20:47 February 24, 2012 by moshe rosen
The animals that submit to castration to so on their own volition. There are people that say they can't control themselves.

All it takes is one incident with a child, and then this child is scarred forever. I have lost my compassion when a man rapes a woman or a child.

Woman who are raped just don't walk away. They are messed up for the rest of their lives (some).

Men who rape against a womans will should not only be castrated (testicles removed) but they also need to have a penisectomy.(surgical removal of the penis.)

Lets show our compassion for the victims.
00:25 February 25, 2012 by Timec
@ chicagolive

"All these people screaming its wrong never have been violated in such away"

And...? You do realize that that's not a compelling case for the continuation of the practice, right? A civilized justice system does not base its policies on the feelings of the victims (or the families of the victims.)

Some like to paint those who are opposed to such practices as being less empathic than others who do support things like castration and the death penalty - the "if you're child had been killed you'd want the murderer tortured and hung up by his toes" response. In reality, those who are opposed have just as much as empathy. They may even have those same thoughts of wanting to inflict terrible pain on the murderer/rapists - but they realize that those kinds of thoughts and feelings, while natural, aren't always the best basis for a legal system. It's not that they don't feel sorrow for the victim, nor is it that they think the offender doesn't deserve to be severely punished. They just have a different view of how the justice system should work.

Besides, I can guarantee you there are some people who have been raped (or are close to someone who has been) that don't support the castration of rapists, just as there are people who have had loved ones killed who don't support the death penalty. It doesn't mean they feel less deeply than others, but rather that they realize that "an eye for an eye" isn't always the best way to do things.
04:34 February 25, 2012 by volvoman9
@ Timec... I feel that you are confusing revenge or retribution with practical crime prevention. Though some may be satisfied with the 'eye for an eye' philosophy the real issue is that most sex offenders re- offend when they have the opportunity. This is not a case of willful behavior so much as a sickness that is often incurable. So then the question becomes.. what is reasonable punishment and what will punishment achieve? I would suggest that punishment will not stop this behavior in the majority of cases and to turn these miscreants loose on a vulnerable public is as serious a crime. Castration is a practical solution to this issue in that it dampens the urges that lead to crimes. Of course what do we do in the case of female offenders? Though men are seldom raped by women the incidence of older women engaging in sexual liaison with boys is gaining in notoriety. What to do with women eh?
04:31 February 26, 2012 by brnskin2010
To all the people that think castration is barbaric, inhumane, etc....FYI the messiah was castrated....If he was castrated why are we so concerned about a MAN that rapes women and children because he can't control or contain himself.....and for any man or woman to sympathize or comprehend that this is wrong....needs to seek mental help...thank you germany for seeing past "degrading treatment"....just sayn
14:03 February 26, 2012 by boopsie
The messiah was castrated? Really? Which one?
02:05 March 14, 2012 by supercool
nipping it in the bud.
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