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Russia's Astakhov Wants Fundraiser for Castration of Pedophiles

Russia's child rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov has called for a fund-raising drive that would let Russians donate money for the chemical castration of convicted pedophiles, a news report said.

A 2012 law that allows a voluntary chemical castration in exchange for a reduced prison sentence for convicted pedophiles is rarely implemented because of a lack of funds, Astakhov said, citing a government report, the RIA Novosti news agency reported Thursday.

"They should circulate a call around the country: Let's collect money for, pardon me, castrating pedophiles — and people will collect money," he was quoted as saying. "The fact that we still have some gaps is what allows those individuals to still exist."

Astakhov's proposal appeared to have been prompted by an Interior Ministry report earlier in the day about the detention of four Moscow region residents on suspicion of a "series of forced actions of a sexual nature against youths" under the guise of firms that offered holiday travel for children.

The men, who are accused of running companies that offered trips around Russia and abroad for children aged 10-16, accompanied children as chaperons and abused them, the Interior Ministry said in a statement..

"Those who are still using the cover of such pseudo-cultural, tourist, historical or educational activity to engage in abusing, destroying our children should carry the most severe responsibility," Astakhov was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.

Until chemical castration measures are enforced, "those people should be isolated from society for many, many years, if not for life," Astakhov added.

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