United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has condemned a recently signed law in Kaduna state in Nigeria that introduced tough penalties for convicted rapists, reports BBC News. The law states that males convicted of raping a victim under the age of 14 should be surgically castrated and given the death penalty.
Female adults convicted of raping a child will face salpingectomy (removal of fallopian tubes) and death.
Bachelet said evidence had shown that the certainty of punishment deters crime, rather than its severity, according to BBC News in a report republished on 15 October by SABC's Channel Africa.
"Penalties like surgical castration and bilateral salpingectomy will not resolve any of the barriers to accessing justice, nor will it serve a preventive role," she said in a statement.
"Surgical castration and salpingectomy violate the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment under international human rights law," Bachelet added.
Recent months have seen a growing public outcry over low conviction rates for sexual assaults across Nigeria. Kaduna is the only state in Nigeria with such legal provisions on rape.
UN condemns castration for rapists in Nigeria