Russia's ombudsman for children's rights said on Wednesday there could be a "pedophile lobby" in the Russian parliament hindering the adoption of harsher punishments for people who rape children.
Everybody in the parliament is conscious of the need to "put up a shield" preventing children rapists, but when the issue reaches the floor it always finds strong opponents, Pavel Astakhov said.
His statement came on the day a law came into effect in Poland that could require some convicted rapists and pedophiles to undergo chemical castration.
"I wonder if we don't have a pedophile lobby that simply finances this and works against the adoption of this law. I think I am not very far from the truth," Astakhov said.
In the fall of 2009, State Duma Deputy Anton Belyakov proposed amendments to Russia's Criminal Code, including chemical castration for child rapists, but the bill was rejected.
Astakhov said child rapists should undergo compulsory chemical castration.
"Castration is on the books in Sweden, Germany, Denmark and the United States. We should strengthen the punishment so as not to fall behind the rest of the world," he said.
MOSCOW, June 9 (RIA Novosti)