Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Indonesia: Widow, 25, Gang-Raped by Eight Men, Sentence Includes Caning

According to The Associated Press, a 25-year-old Indonesia widow, was gang-raped by eight men who accused her of having extramarital sex and may be caned publicly for violating Islamic law, an official said Wednesday (May 7).

The young woman said she was raped by eight men who allegedly found her with a married man in her home. The men reportedly beat the man, doused the two with sewage, and then turned them over to the religious police in conservative Aceh province.

The gang-rape occurred in Lhokbani, a village in East Aceh district.

The head of Islamic shariah law in the district, Ibrahim Latief, said his office has recommended the widow and the married man be caned nine times for violating religious law, pending an investigation. 

Preliminary findings indicated that the two were about to have sex at that time, but Latief contended they violated Shariah law by being in the same room together. He said they also confessed to having sex earlier.

COMMENT: Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation of 240 million people, has a policy of secularism but allows Aceh, a predominantly Muslim province on the northern tip of Sumatra, to implement a form of Sharia law.

Police have arrested three of the eight men and are searching for the others.

East Aceh police chief Lt. Col. Hariadi said those arrested are being questioned on charges of rape.

One of the rapists is a 13-year-old boy, who would be charged as an adult but prosecuted in a closed-door proceedings.