Germany praised for ending sex-offender surgical castration

The Council of Europe's anti-torture committee is praising Germany's effective discontinuation of surgically castrating some sex offenders, although the law has not been repealed.

The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture in 2012 criticized Germany for the practice, while acknowledging it was done voluntarily under well-controlled circumstances.

In a report released Thursday in Strasbourg, France, the committee says during the period covered between 2013 and 2015 "not one single surgical castration had been carried out" but it urged that laws be changed to prevent it permanently.

It said some prisoners reported being pressured into so-called "chemical castration" — anti-androgen treatments to reduce male hormone levels — and stressed that this needed to be voluntary.

Germany responded that castration is used only to treat a person's "serious illness."