ROME, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- An Italian Cabinet minister has called for rapists to be chemically castrated, local media reported.
Italian Minister for Simplification of Laws Roberto Calderoli told the newspaper La Stampa that chemical castration is "the only answer" when teenage girls are being attacked, saying, "Talk of rehabilitation is not enough. Society must defend itself," The Times of London reported Monday.
Calderoli's comments came as vigilante beatings of immigrants were increasing after a series of rapes blamed on foreigners. Five Romanians were severely beaten over the weekend in Rome when masked youths armed with wooden clubs smashed up a kebab bar near the scene of a rape in the Park of the Caffarella, the newspaper said.
Interior Minister Roberto Maroni urged Italians not to take the law into their own hands, but also reportedly said the government would seek an emergency decree aimed at creating "groups of unnamed citizens" to "assist the police by bringing to their attention events that might be damaging to urban security."
Maroni said the groups would not be vigilantes.
Opponents said the thing to do is add more police officers.