Woman, 21, Publicly Caned for ‘Close Proximity’ to Boyfriend in Indonesia

Simon Veazey
By Simon Veazey
October 29, 2018Worldshare

A woman has been publicly caned along with her boyfriend as a punishment for being “in close proximity” to each other, in a region of Indonesia run under sharia law.

In the Aceh region of Jakarta, Indonesia, the crime of being in “close proximity” to the opposite sex carries a punishment of 10 to 25 lashings with the bamboo switch.

Photographs from a Getty journalist show the 21-year-old brought onto a public platform in front of onlookers and public officials in uniforms.

The woman was 21, according to the Getty reports.

woman caned under sharia law
An Indonesian 21-year old Muslim woman is caned in public after being caught in close proximity with her boyfriend in Banda Aceh on October 29, 2018. (Chaideer Mahyuddin /AFP/Getty Images)

With a population of over 250 million spread across the cluster of islands in the north Pacific, Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.

60 Grams of Gold

Nearly 90 percent of Indonesians are Muslim, but Aceh is the only province in Indonesia that imposes sharia law.

Under the adoption of sharia law in the province, people can be flogged for a number of reasons—from gambling, to drinking alcohol to engaging in homosexual acts or extra-marital relations—with up to 200 lashes.

Those found guilty of adultery can be put to death by stoning. Sexual harassment carries a levy of 60 lashes, a fine of 60 grams of gold, or 60 months of imprisonment. Drinking alcohol is punishable by up to 40 lashes or 40 months of imprisonment.

In 2015, North Aceh adopted a law that banned unmarried men and woman from riding a motorbike together, according to the Jakarta Post.

man is caned for 'close proximity'
An Indonesian man is caned in public after being caught in close proximity with his girlfriend in Banda Aceh on October 29, 2018. (Chaideer Mahyuddin/AFP/Getty Images)

Local legislator Fauzan Hamzah said at the time that for an unmarried couple to sit together on a motorbike “is clearly against Islamic sharia as it could lead to sinful acts.”

Rape Suspects Go Free

Human Rights Watch (HRW) in 2014 criticized the adoption in Aceh of a law that permits up to 100 lashes and up to 100 months in prison in punishment for engaging in consensual sexual acts outside of marriage.

HRW also criticized the adoption of another law in 2014 that allows Islamic courts to dismiss charges against rape suspects who take an Islamic oath asserting their innocence.

“The Islamic oath provision allows rape suspects who declare their innocence up to five times to be eligible for automatic dismissal of charges should the court determine an absence of incriminating ‘other evidence,'” said the report by HRW.

According to HRW, the adoption of sharia law violates the right to freedom of religion enshrined in the Indonesian constitution and international law by requiring all Muslims to practice the Sunni tradition of Islam.

Aceh came to be the only province that wielded the right to use sharia law after the government failed to fully quell a 30-year-long separatist movement.

Aceh was granted special, semi-autonomous status in 2001, but the separatists continued to fight.

Indonesia 2005 the government struck a peace deal, granting special autonomy to Aceh, on condition that it remained part of the Indonesian archipelago.

Central to that deal, was the right for Aceh to use Islamic sharia law as its legal code—the only province allowed to do so.

From The Epoch Times

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