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Macedonia adopts pedophile-castration bill

by The Associated Press | February 5, 2014 at 10:41 a.m.

SKOPJE, Macedonia — Macedonia's parliament has adopted a bill imposing chemical castration on repeat offenders convicted of sexually abusing children — but the country's leading child protection group said Wednesday that the law is still too lenient.

The Megjasi child protection group, which had campaigned for the procedure to be imposed on pedophiles, said the penalty should be mandatory even for first-time offenders.

Lawmakers voted Monday to make penalties harsher for convicted pedophiles, increasing the maximum sentence from 15 years to life imprisonment and imposing chemical castration on second-time offenders, with the procedure to be imposed on their release from prison. It introduces a minimum 15-year prison term for severe sexual offenses against minors, while other sexual-related crimes against children are punishable by between three and 10 years in prison.

The legislation also offers reduced prison sentences to first-time offenders agreeing to undergo the procedure voluntarily.

The procedure involves regular injections that decrease the production of testosterone. The bill doesn't specify a length of time for the treatment.

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