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(Mar 15, 2013) The Government of Aceh, in Indonesia, has revised a draft set of bylaws, the Qanun Jinayat, to remove a provision that had permitted the stoning of adulterers. These bylaws replace part of the Criminal Code with Islamic [Shariah] provisions applicable to Muslims and were originally endorsed by the Aceh Legislative Council in 2009. (Nurdin Hasan, Aceh Government Removes Stoning Sentence from Draft Bylaw, THE JAKARTA GLOBE (Mar. 12, 2013).) Aceh is a special district with the status of a province within
On March 12, 2013, Syahrizal Abbas, of the Islamic Shariah Agency (a local government body) in Aceh, stated that the government would be discussing both the Qanun Jinayat and the Qanun Acara Jinayat (Criminal Procedure Code) with academics and religious scholars, to improve the two proposed laws. Aceh regulations are known for harsh punishments, including, in addition to death by stoning for adultery, 100 lashes with a cane for homosexuality or premarital sex; 60 lashes, a fine of 60 grams of gold, or 60 months of imprisonment for sexual harassment; and 40 lashes or 40 months of imprisonment for drinking alcohol. Abbas stated that the new bylaws were intended to improve behavior in Aceh and that caning would not be used if the offender could be educated. He added, "[t]hat's why we expect an improvement of the judges['] quality in terms of ability, knowledge and sensitivity … [about the] psychological reasons behind someone who violated the Qanun Jinayat." (Hasan, supra.)
Irwandi Yusuf, the former governor of Aceh, refused to sign the bylaws due to his opposition to stoning; he was joined in this stance by human rights activists. (
In addition to provincial-level Shariah regulations, some local governments have adopted controversial rules that reflect Shariah views. Early in 2013, the city of
A national religious leader, Ma'ruf Amin, the Chairman of the Indonesian Council of Religious Leaders (Majelis Ulama Indonesia, or MUI), agreed with the bylaw, stating that riding motorcycles was not appropriate for women and that in particular "[s]traddling is impolite for women." (
The central government is reportedly not in agreement with the ban and is considering whether or not to intervene. (Regina Wang, Indonesia City to Prohibit Women Passengers from Straddling Motorcycles, TIME NEWS FEED (Jan. 7, 2013).) Furthermore, women's rights groups have criticized the rule. Roslina Rasyid, of the Lhokseumawe branch of the Indonesian Women's Association for Justice, rejected the rule as ignoring safety, claiming that riding astride is a safer way for a passenger to travel on a motorcycle, and Andy Yentriyani, of the National Commission on Violence Against Women, said the bylaw was "part of discriminative policies on women in this country in the name of religion and morality." (Women's Groups Reject Aceh Motorbike Straddle Ban, supra.)
|Author:||Constance Johnson More by this author|
|Topic:||Criminal law and procedure More on this topic|
|Jurisdiction:||Indonesia More about this jurisdiction|
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Last updated: 03/15/2013