Rapists will face surgical castration in Nigerian state

Protesters in Nigeria demonstrate against rape and sexual abuse. Credit: AP

Men convicted of rape in Nigeria will face surgical castration and anyone raping a child under the age of 14 will face the death penalty, after the governor of the country's Kaduna state signed a new law.

Govenor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai said the “drastic penalties are required to help further protect children from a serious crime.” Reported cases of rape in Nigeria have risen dramatically during the months of coronavirus restrictions.

Women’s groups have called for tougher action against rapists, including the death penalty. Kaduna state’s new law is the strictest against rape in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country. The state’s newly amended penal code also says a person convicted of raping someone over age 14 will 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. A woman convicted of rape of a child under 14 faces the removal of her fallopian tubes.