Wo­man screams in pain dur­ing sharia can­ing

The Myanmar Times - - World -

A YOUNG wo­man screamed in pain as she was caned 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 on Oc­to­ber 17 at a mosque in the pro­vin­cial cap­i­tal Banda Aceh, as the crowd cheered the spec­ta­cle.

Six cou­ples were found guilty of break­ing Is­lamic laws that ban in­ti­macy, such as touch­ing 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 said, “The pun­ish­ment will be handed down af­ter she gives birth.”

More and more peo­ple are be­ing caned in Aceh, with a par­tic­u­lar in­crease in the num­ber of women.

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 long-run­ning 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. –

Photo: AFP

A Mus­lim wo­man gets 23 strokes of the cane in Banda Aceh on Oc­to­ber 17 af­ter be­ing caught in close prox­im­ity to her boyfriend.

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