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article imageAceh, Indonesia's Stoning Law 'Constitutes Torture'

By Radi Anky Juremi     Sep 18, 2009 in World
Amnesty International has joined the chorus of condemnation against the passing of a new Islamic law in Indonesia's Aceh province that calls for adulterers to be stoned to death and homosexuality and premarital sex to be punished by lashes.
“The new criminal bylaw flies in the face of international human rights law as well as provisions of the Indonesian constitution,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific director, in a statement.
“Stoning to death is particularly cruel and constitutes torture, which is absolutely forbidden under all circumstances in international law,” he added.
The bylaw, locally called Qanun Jinayah, replaces elements of the Criminal Code with Shariah, or Islamic, law for Muslims.
The bylaw mandates that resident of Aceh could receive 100 lashes for engaging in sex out of wedlock, up to 400 lashes for child rape, 100 lashes for homosexual acts and 60 lashes for gambling. If found guilty, adulterers could be stoned to death.
Some of these provisions, particularly punishment by caning, are not new in Aceh and already violate international human rights standards on cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, the statement said.
The Indonesian government should ensure that the process of the decentralization and regional autonomy does not come at the expense of human rights, the statement added.
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