Aceh, elderly Christian woman publically whipped for selling alcohol
The woman, 60, was caught breaking Islamic law in Aceh also now also regulates the life of non-Muslims. She is the first Christian to be punished under sharia, with 30 lashes. Two others accused of adultery given 100 lashes.
Banda Aceh (AsiaNews) – A Christian woman of 60 years of age has been publically flogged in Aceh for selling alcohol despite a ban under Sharia law. The woman received 30 lashes in front of about 1,000 people in Takengon, Aceh, the province with special status in the north of Sumatra and only place Indonesia where Islamic law is enforced. A couple caught in adultery was punished alongside the woman, with 100 lashes.
Aceh Central Government official, Lili Suparli, says that this "is the first time that a citizen outside the Muslim community has been punished for breaking the rules contained in the Koran". Sharia, in fact, was only applicable to Muslims, however a law which came into force last year under which in certain situations it can also regulate the work of non-Muslims.
Aceh province began to apply a stricter version of Islamic law (shari'a) in 2005, following a peace agreement between Jakarta and the Islamic separatist group Free Aceh Movement (GAM). Among the toughest laws are public clubbing for those who have sex with men, gamblers, the alcohol drinkers and those who meet with women outside of wedlock. Many in Aceh oppose greater restrictions, especially with regards to women wearing jeans and tight skirts , travelling astride motorcycles, or dancing in public because they "stir desire" and a ban on St. Valentines Day.