Plans by Nigeria to castrate rapists and execute pedophiles have been condemned as “draconian” by a furious Michelle Bachelet, the U.N.’s High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The governor of Nigeria’s Kaduna state signed a law two months ago saying men convicted of rape would be subjected to surgical castration – with those found guilty of raping a child under the age of 14 would be executed, as Breitbart News reported.
Now Bachelet, the former President of Chile, has expressed her anger at the proposal.
“Tempting as it may be to impose draconian punishments on those who carry out such monstrous acts, we must not allow ourselves to commit further violations,” she said.
UN Human Rights Chief @mbachelet stands in solidarity and outrage with survivors of #rape, and those demanding justice. Tempting as it may be to impose draconian punishment, she urges we shift the focus on justice and reparation for the victim 👉 https://t.co/yuDdJC7EW0 pic.twitter.com/I0PAptrLCF
— UN Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) October 15, 2020
In a statement regarding the adoption of the law in Nigeria, Bachelet said the main argument made for instituting the death penalty is to deter rape. She argued that the belief punishment prevents sexual assaults is wrong.
The human rights chief said “the certainty of punishment, rather than its severity, deters crime.”
“Penalties like surgical castration and bilateral salpingectomy will not resolve any of the barriers to accessing justice, nor will it serve a preventive role,” Bachelet argued.
“Surgical castration and salpingectomy violate the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment under international human rights law.”
During recent periods of lockdown, the number of reported rape cases in Nigeria rose dramatically.
From March to July, Nigeria documented 717 rape cases and 7,170 unreported rapes across the country. For comparison, Nigeria’s Bureau of Statistics said that over 2,200 cases of rape and indecent assault were reported for 2017.
Despite the recent spike in rape cases, Nigeria has long suffered from high rates of sexual violence. “One in four girls and ten percent of boys have been victims of sexual violence” in Nigeria, UNICEF reported.
The legislature in Nigeria called for "chopping off the genitals" of convicted rapists on Wednesday amid a surge in rapes nationwide. https://t.co/IOfaP2W920
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) July 17, 2020
On May 27, a Christian university student was brutally raped and bludgeoned to death by a group of men while studying alone in a church in Benin City, Breitbart News reported. Uwaila Vera Omozuwa, 22, had gone to the local Redeemed Christian Church of God, of which she was a member, to read “in preparation for a possible reopening of school” following coronavirus lockdowns.
“We are all devastated by her death. She decided to do some private studies during the lockdown because the church was peaceful. She’s been taking the key from the parish pastor and returning it after her studies,” Olaitan Olubiyi, a spokesman for the church, said.
“But that day she didn’t return it and the night guard who resumed duty found her in a pool of her own blood and half-naked in the church hall,” he said.
The guard found Omozuwa unconscious and rushed her to a hospital shortly after. She regained consciousness briefly in the hospital and was able to provide an account of the attack. According to Omozuwa, “she had been reading all alone in the church when she was ambushed by unknown men, who beat, raped, and hit her head with a fire extinguisher.”
Omozuwa died from her injuries on May 30, according to the report. On June 2, local media reported that Nigerian police had arrested one suspect in Omozuwa’s rape and murder based on a fingerprint found on the fire extinguisher used to beat her.