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Germany told to stop sex offender castration

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 told to stop sex offender castration
Photo: DPA

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

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CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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