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September 19 2009 | INDONESIA


Aceh regional parliament passes law on stoning to death

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Banda Aceh, 14 set. - I musulmani che commettono adulterio possono essere lapidati fino alla morte.

E' la nuova legge islamica approvata all'unanimita' nella provincia integralista di Aceh, in Indonesia. Secondo il nuovo provvedimento della sharia, la pena e' di 100 frustate per chi pratica il sesso prematrimoniale e della lapidazione per chi e' sposato. La legge punisce severamente lo stupro, il consumo di alcol e il gioco d'azzardo e "sara' applicata entro trenta giorni, con o senza il consenso del governatore di Aceh", ha spiegato il deputato Bachron M. Rasyid. "La lapidazione non ha alcuna base costituzionale. E' una pena disumana e crudele e degrada la dignita' della persona", ha denunciato Usman Hamid, coordinatore della ong per i diritti umani Kontras. La sharia venne introdotta dal governo centrale nel 2001 per arginare le spinte indipendentiste dei musulmani. I combattimenti tra i separatisti della provincia di Aceh e le forze governative sono andate avanti dal 1976 fino alla firma di un trattato di pace nel 2005. Oltre il 90% degli abitanti dell'Indonesia sono musulmani, ma la maggior parte segue una dottrina piu' moderata.



Indonesia's Aceh passes law on stoning to death Eds

Adulterers can be stoned to death and homosexuality is punishable by steep prison terms under a new law passed unanimously by lawmakers in Indonesia's devoutly Muslim Aceh province Monday.

Aceh's regional parliament adopted the bill despite strong objections from human rights groups and the province's deputy governor who said the legislation needed more careful consideration because it imposes a new form of capital punishment.

The chairman of the assembly asked the 69-member house if the bill could be passed into law and they answered in unison: "Yes, it can." Some members of the moderate Democrat Party had voiced reservations, but none of them voted against the bill.

The law, which reinforces the province's already strict Islamic laws, is to go into effect within 30 days. Its passage comes two weeks before a new assembly led by the moderate Aceh Party is sworn in following a heavy defeat of conservative Muslim parties in local elections.

Aceh, where Islam first arrived in Indonesia from Saudi Arabia centuries ago, enjoys semiautonomy from the central government. A long-running Islamic insurgency in the province ended in 2005 in the wake of the Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 130,000 there.

A version of Islamic law, or Shariah, that had been introduced in Aceh in 2001 already bans gambling, drinking alcohol and makes it compulsory for women to wear headscarves. Dozens of public canings have been carried out by the local Shariah police against violators of that law.

The majority of Indonesia's roughly 200 Muslims practice a moderate form of the faith and surveys suggest they do not support such hardline interpretations of the Quran, the Muslim holy book.

The new law also imposes tough sentences and fines for rape and pedophilia, but the most hotly disputed article was on adultery and states that offending married couples can be punished by a minimum of 100 lashings and a maximum of stoning to death.

"The stoning to death is the toughest punishment included in the (new) Shariah law," said Bahrom Rasjid, one of the drafters and a member of the United Development Party, after its passage.

It also imposes severe prison terms for other behavior considered morally unacceptable, including homosexuality, which will be punishable by public lashings and more than eight years in prison.

Aceh Vice Governor Muhamad Nazar said that even though his office opposed the clause on stoning to death it has no legal power to block it. "Whatever law is passed we have to enforce it," he said.

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