Castration for pedophiles!"We insist on tougher sentences and even life imprisonment because we are convinced that Macedonia still does not have a reliable treatment for dealing with pedophiles while they serve the prison sentence, because after leaving the prison, most of them to repeat the crime."
Written by: Marija DIVITAROVA
A forty six years old resident of the village Banjishte near Debar waited for his niece in front the school after the classes. He forced her to enter the car, and then with a sticky tape he tied down her hands, legs and mouth and raped her. He was sexually abusing his niece for a period of two years.
In mid-February this year, the Criminal Board of the court in Gostivar sentenced him with 10 years in prison.
"The defendant was given the maximum sentence under the old law, which, for a sexual assault on a child provides a sentence from one to ten years”, was stated then by the Court in Gostivar.
But if the rapist from Banjishte was sentenced by the new law, the penalty could have been much tougher. After the Legal changes from November 2008, new, tougher penalties were adopted for sentencing pedophilia, but also are provided new elements of crime acts relating to sexual morality. The Minister of Justice Mihajlo Manevski says that the severing of penal policies reflects very positively in practice.
"For the first time in Macedonia was imposed is a prison sentence of 15 years, six prison sentences of 10 years, two prison sentences of 13 years, which was absolutely not present in practice in Macedonia. We go towards providing more efficient protection, in the same time building in the international elements, particularly the Convention for prevention of sexual or other exploitation of children, which has been signed by Macedonia. We develop domestic legislation which should provide more efficient protection of children, so they do not become victims of sexual assaults and pedophilia" says Manevski.
SOCIETY OF VOYEURS
In the recent years the public is more frequently bombed by top news for sexual abuse of children and incest. Media more frequently make sensations out of this and create voyeur public, along with all those voyeur shows and quizzes like "Big Brother" or "Moment of Truth”, whose idea is to glance in someone's intimate zone, but which definitely turned the media space into a disgusting voyeur dump of bare stupidity.
Meanwhile, we receive more shocking news: a nine-year old child was raped near Gevgelija, after the pedophile met him when he was returning from school. He forced him to get into the car and then raped him. Two other juveniles were victims of sexual violence from their neighbor, while a father abused his two daughters aged 7 and 8 years.
Experiences show that pedophiles, very often, are familiar to children. In most cases abusers are close neighbors, relatives or even parents. However, are the rigorous sanctions the right solution for pedophilia?
Mirjana Najchevska from the Center for Sociological Research says tougher penalties are definitely needed.
"Punishment is aimed at and should lead to awareness that the act does not pay off. But, penalties are not sufficient. Despite the high penalties, also are needed other measures already implemented in other countries, such as a form of oversight of these people, psychological and psychiatric consultations, and particularly finding ways to distance them from children, or disabling them to have direct or indirect contact with children at their workplace", says Najchevska.
Now the Ministry of Justice provides specific penalties for those who would misuse their official status and commit sexual violence against children. Besides the fine, the new penal code provides for a ban on performing the profession, duty or activity from one to ten years. Manevski says it is no longer question whether the court can or will sentence this, but the court is obliged to sentence such measure for the perpetrator sentenced for this crime, committed by using his position.
Dragi Zmijanac, from the Children's Embassy Megjashi says that the Ministry of Justice is mobilizing to tighten sanctions against the perpetrators of these serious crimes of pedophilia and incest because it became obvious that that the penalties are small and do not correspond to the European legislation. "But, it is only a repressive and preventive measure. We insist on tougher sentences and even life imprisonment because we are convinced that Macedonia still does not have a reliable treatment for dealing with pedophiles while they serve the prison sentence, because after leaving the prison, most of them to repeat the crime", says Zmijanac.
Life imprisonment as punishment for pedophiles is a practice in other European countries, which prevents the repetition of the crime. In Macedonia, life imprisonment can be sentenced when rape is committed over a helpless person, if severe injury is inflicted, or in a case of force over a juvenile who has not turned 14 years of age. Zmijanac says that if the state finds appropriate mechanisms, such as voluntary chemical castration, control of the libido and drive and strict police surveillance, monitoring with electronic rings to know where pedophiles are moving, and keeping them away from children, then judges could be more lenient towards pedophiles.
CASTRATION OR LIFE INPRISONMENT
However, many pedophiles in the Czech Republic, for example, have other choice but spending their life behind bars. In this country, chemical or physical castration of pedophiles is allowed, and it is done with their consent, after sexologists provide positive opinion.
Castration is seen as a permanent solution that provides a guarantee that they will not repeat the crime once they serve the sentence. With a surgical operation, part of the testes is being removed, where the sex hormone is produced, and than implants are built in, so that natural look is kept. In this way, patients keep their ability for sexual activity, but as they say, their bad obsessions or sexual thoughts have been removed. The chemical castration exists as an alternative, as a treatment with drugs that reduce the desire for sex, and in turn do not have lifelong effects. Until now, surgical castration is done to 50 people in the Czech Republic, while the chemical castration is used in 300 cases. The Czech society perceives castration as an act that helps pedophiles, but provoked extensive debate in Europe. The Committee on Torture of the Council of Europe says that pedophiles in prison agree to castration, because in some cases it is their only relief from life imprisonment.
Zmijanac says there are more human measures than the lifelong castration when teams of psychiatrists and psychologists work together with the medications therapy or the chemical castration, in parallel with the strict supervision of the police which will be mobile for pedophiles not to repeat the crime.
The Minister Manevski also says that penalties are not and can not be the only solution in the fight against pedophiles because the problem is much wider.
Here, of course, says Manevski, and other elements that should be in function of more efficient protection and prevention of these crimes in terms of the centers for social work, the educational process, education, recognition of potential perpetrators of these crimes. "But if I say that in the previous period we had 22 conditional sentences, now we have only two, it also means that the punishment achieves a specific purpose.