Men convicted of rape will face surgical castration and anyone who rapes a child under 14 will face the death penalty, under a new law introduced in Nigeria.
The governor of the country’s Kaduna state, Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, said the “drastic penalties are required to help further protect children from a serious crime”.
Nigeria has seen a huge increase in reports of rape during the months of coronavirus restrictions.
Women’s groups have called for tougher action against rapists and sex offenders, including the death penalty.
Gender activist and rape survivor Dorothy Njemanze has said she would like to see the law adopted in other Nigerian states.
“In retrospect, if everyone that raped me was put through that [surgical castration] other people that they might have also raped would have been spared the calamity,” she said.
Kaduna’s new law is the strictest against rape in Nigeria, Africa’s most-populous country.
Under the state’s newly amended penal code, a person convicted of raping someone over age 14 will also face life imprisonment.
The previous law carried a maximum penalty of 21 years’ imprisonment for the rape of an adult and life imprisonment for the rape of a child.
The new law also states that women convicted of raping a child under 14 will have their fallopian tubes removed.
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