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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Child sex offenders in Indonesia to face execution or chemical castration

JAKARTA - Child sex offenders could be executed or chemically castrated in Indonesia under a crackdown following the brutal gang rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl.

Indonesia, especially Bali, is a blackspot for Australian paedophiles - in 2014 it eclipsed Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia to become the number one destination for Australian child sex tourists.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo this week announced a regulation - effective immediately - that would allow judges to sentence child rapists to death or order that they be chemically castrated.

He said additional punishment could include publicly announcing the sex offender's identity and requiring those on parole to wear an electronic monitoring device.

Australian man Robert Andrew Fiddes Ellis is currently awaiting trial in Bali for allegedly sexually abusing at least 15 girls aged between seven and 17.

But Bali prosecutor Alit Swastika said Ellis would not be affected because the new regulation could not be applied retrospectively.

"No such law existed when Robert committed the crime," he said.

The 69-year-old man, who is suspected of being part of an international paedophile ring, allegedly groomed street kids by showering them with love and gifts before sexually abusing them in the bath.
"If the girls spent the night there, then she will be given a couple of millions rupiah [about $200]. If they stayed longer, they might even be given a motorbike,"  Luh Putu Anggraeni, from child protection organisation Lentera Anak Bali told Fairfax Media earlier this year.

The new regulation has implications for the Australian Federal Police, who share intelligence with their Indonesian counterparts on child sex tourism.

AFP guidelines require senior AFP officials to take into account a series of factors before providing assistance in potential death penalty scenarios. These include whether the information is favourable to the defendant, the nationality of the person involved, the person's age and personal circumstances, the seriousness of the suspected criminal activity and the likelihood that the death penalty will be imposed.

Ministerial approval is required in any case in which a person has been arrested or detained for, charged with, or convicted of an offence which carries the death penalty.

The new punishments for child sex offenders in Indonesia follow national outrage over the brutal gang rape and murder of Yuyun, a 14-year-old girl from Bengkulu in Sumatra.

Seven boys under 18 were imprisoned for 10 years, a sentence many thought was too light.
"We all mourn the tragic death of [Yuyun]. Catch and severely punish the perpetrators. Women and children must be protected from violence," Mr Joko tweeted after Yuyun's death.

On Wednesday Mr Joko said extraordinary crime needed to be handled in an extraordinary way.

He increased the minimum sentence for child sex offenders to 10 years and gave judges the discretion to order the death penalty, authorise chemical castration, name perpetrators and monitor those on parole with electronic devices.

"(This) will give room for judges to issue the heaviest sentence on perpetrators of sexual offences on children," Mr Joko said. "We hope this regulation will provide a deterrent effect ... and bring down the number of sexual offences committed against children."

Paedophile Australian school teacher Peter Dundas Walbran was extradited to Indonesia in October 2011, following a request from Jakarta's Law and Human Rights Ministry.

Walbran was sentenced to three years' jail on Lombok in 2012 for offences that shocked investigators, including the repeated rape and abuse of children over a period of nine years.

He was deported back to Australia in 2014 but was last year found working at a school in Thailand.

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