Woman screams in pain dur­ing can­ing in Indonesia’s Aceh

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

BANDA ACEH: A young woman screamed in pain as she was caned yes­ter­day in front of a jeer­ing crowd in Indonesia’s Aceh, the lat­est per­son to be pun­ished for break­ing the prov­ince’s strict Is­lamic laws. Aceh is the only prov­ince in the world’s most pop­u­lous Mus­lim-ma­jor­ity coun­try that im­poses sharia law. Peo­ple can face flog­gings for a range of of­fences-from gam­bling, to drink­ing al­co­hol, to gay sex. The woman was among 13 peo­ple-seven men and six women aged be­tween 21 and 30 - who were caned Mon­day at a mosque in the pro­vin­cial cap­i­tal Banda Aceh, as a bay­ing crowd cheered the spec­ta­cle.

Six cou­ples were found guilty of break­ing Is­lamic laws that ban in­ti­macy, such as touch­ing, hug­ging and kiss­ing, be­tween un­mar­ried peo­ple. A man was caned for a less se­ri­ous of­fence de­scribed as spend­ing time with a mem­ber of the op­po­site sex in a hid­den lo­ca­tion in a fash­ion that could lead to adul­tery. One 22-year-old woman due to be flogged was given a tem­po­rary re­prieve as she was preg­nant-but Aceh Deputy Mayor Zainal Arifin pledged: “The pun­ish­ment will be handed down after she gives birth.” The of­fi­cial added that he hoped the can­ings would serve as a de­ter­rent: “We hope there are no more peo­ple in Banda Aceh who break the law in fu­ture.”

More and more peo­ple are be­ing caned in Aceh, with a par­tic­u­lar in­crease in re­cent times in the num­ber of women be­ing flogged. Aceh, on Su­ma­tra Is­land, be­gan im­ple­ment­ing sharia law after be­ing granted spe­cial au­ton­omy in 2001, an at­tempt by the cen­tral gov­ern­ment in Jakarta to quell a lon­grun­ning sep­a­ratist in­sur­gency. Is­lamic laws have been strength­ened since the prov­ince struck a peace deal with the cen­tral gov­ern­ment in 2005. More than 90 per­cent of In­done­sians de­scribe them­selves as Mus­lim, but the vast ma­jor­ity prac­tise a mod­er­ate form of the faith.—

— AFP

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia: A Mus­lim woman gets caned 23 strokes after be­ing caught in close prox­im­ity with her boyfriend in Banda Aceh yes­ter­day.

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