Asia

Indonesia plan: 100 lashes for gay sex, Muslim or not

Indonesia map shows Aceh province. (Map courtesy of PBS.org)

Indonesia map shows Aceh province. (Map courtesy of PBS.org)

The Indonesia’s Aceh province is considering adopting a new bylaw that would impose public floggings for homosexual activity by non-Muslims as well as Muslims.

Under sharia law, which is in effect in Aceh, Muslims are already subject to that punishment for gay sex, as well as penalties for adultery, public intimacy and wearing shorts or tight dresses.

Agence France-Presse reported today:

“Gay sex could be punishable by 100 lashes of the cane in Indonesia’s staunchly conservative Aceh province if parliament passes a draft law that critics say violates basic human rights.

“Aceh is the only part of the world’s biggest Muslim-majority nation to enforce Islamic sharia law and has been slowly implementing it since 2001, when it gained some powers of autonomy.

“A draft bylaw sent to AFP on Saturday outlaws anal sex between men and “the rubbing of body parts between women for stimulation”, and for the first time applies Islamic laws and punishments to non-Muslims.

“The bylaw also punishes adultery with 100 lashes of the cane.”

Illiza Sa’aduddin Djamal, deputy mayor of Banda Aceh (Photo courtesy of Acehterkini.com)

Illiza Sa’aduddin Djamal, deputy mayor of Banda Aceh (Photo courtesy of Acehterkini.com)

Illiza Sa’aduddin Djamal, the deputy mayor of Banda Aceh, the province’s capital, has been pushing for the legislation since at least May 2014, according to the Jakarta Globe.

“There is no law that could be used to charge them,” the newspaper quoted Illiza as saying. “The existing [regulations] only stipulate about khalwat [being in close proximity] for intimate relations between unmarried males and females.” Banda Aceh’s Shariah Police have struggled to crack down on same-sex relationships, Illiza said. Couples meet in rented rooms and pursue relationships under a veil of secrecy, she said.

“Even if one case of homosexuality found, it’s already a problem… we are really concerned about the behavior and activities of the gay community, because their behavior is deviating from the Islamic Shariah,” Illiza stated.

The Aceh proposal continues a legislative and human-rights struggle that has been going on for years.  As the Star Observer of Australia reported in 2009:

“In 2002 the Indonesian Government granted legal autonomy to Aceh, allowing the province to institute Islamic Sharia law, a framework that explicitly punishes homosexual acts.

“It was subsequently reported that 52 regions across the islands of Sumatra and Java adopted laws prohibiting homosexuality, including the city of Palembang in South Sumatra where punishment includes jail and fines.

“Indonesian lobby group Arus Pelangi launched a campaign against these regional statutes in October 2006. Many LGBT people are arrested and detained, often without charges or clear reason, only to be released after a few days, Arus Pelangi spokesman Widodo Budi said.”

 

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