Prague - The Czech Republic is back in the limelight. This time due to the controversial topic of castrating sexual deviants.
Shortly after the Czech Republic was criticised by the Council of Europe for implementing the castration of sexual deviants, a reporter from The Sun, Britain's most-read daily, visited the country.
While the Council of Europe is calling for abolishing castrations, the tabloid calls for the opposite. In its Tuesday edition there is an article called British Paedos Should Be Castrated … Like Us.
Over four days, the reporter, Oliver Harvey, visited a mental hospital in Havlíčkův Brod, where he talked to four castrated men. As did sexual deviants who have already been released, they told Harvey that castration has helped them.
According to information available to Aktuálně.cz, the British public television Channel 4 will be dealing with castrations in the Czech Republic in a soon-to-be-broadcast documentary on the life of prisoners who are serving their sentence in Kuřim's prison for sexual deviants.
Castration according to The Sun
The Sun's article resembles a leaflet propagating castrations. The reporter is presenting stories of castrated paedophiles who are praising castration.
The article, which contains photographs of four castrated sexual deviants from the mental hospital in Havlíčkův Brod, neither brings any critical view nor provides any essential arguments against the surgery.
"Now I can trust myself and live close to a school," says one of the Czechs, praising his situation. "I recommend the British paedophiles to undergo castration, too," another says. "It will change their life for the better."
Their testimonies in the article are supported by statements from Havlíčkův Brod's sexologist, Želmíra Herrová, who points out that none of the castrated has relapsed.
At the same time The Sun reminds readers that the Czech Republic is the only country where surgical castrations are permitted and that Czech doctors are proud they can perform them.
The reports also mentions the Council of Europe's criticism. However, it contrasts with the emotional statement of a father of a boy raped and killed by the paedophile Antonín Novák. "Nobody wants to attack the rights of paedophiles, but what about the rights of a nine-year-old boy who had his life ahead of him?"
The Sun closes the article with the reminder that the British Department of Health has just refused performing castrations, but voluntary chemical castrations are under way.
Four days in Prague
The mental hospital in Havlíčkův Brod, where there are currently 15 sexual deviants, four of whom have undergone castration, was not the only place The Sun's reporter visited.
Harvey also met with men who had undergone the surgery in the past and who are now free. However, during his stay in the Czech Republic he did not meet with any of the experts who criticise the surgery.
The Channel 4 reporter spent two days in the Czech Republic. On the first day she visited the mental hospital in Bohnice, and the next day the crew went to the prison in Kuřim.
The psychiatry professor Don Grubin, who is preparing a project for the British government that would introduce chemical castrations as part of the sentence, also went to the Moravian prison where convicted sexual deviants can undergo this procedure.
"In Britain, medication is not part of medical treatment in prison. It is rather based on thorough psychotherapy," he said during his visit. "I want the prisoners to have better access to medication within our project. I estimate it would be suitable for around five to 10 percent of offenders."
The television team shot in the facility of the special Kuřim ward K9. The programme will, for example, show Grubin with one of the prisoners in his cell or with a prisoner who decided for surgical castration but then changed his mind.
The Channel 4 documentary, in contrast to the article published in The Sun, focuses on the effectiveness of chemical castrations. British viewers will see the documentary this week.
Adapted by the Prague Daily Monitor.