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article imageStrict Indonesian province canes non-Muslim for selling booze

By AFP     Apr 13, 2016 in World

An elderly Christian woman has been caned in a conservative Indonesian province for selling alcohol, the first time someone from outside the Islamic faith has been punished there under strict religious laws.

The 60-year was whipped nearly 30 times with a rattan cane before a crowd of hundreds in Aceh province Tuesday, an official said, along with a couple who were subjected to 100 lashes for committing adultery.

Aceh is the only province in the predominantly Muslim country that applies sharia law, and public canings for breaches of Islamic code happen on a regular basis and often attract huge crowds.

Those caught engaging in adultery, same-sex relationships, drinking and even associating with unmarried members of the opposite sex can end up facing the cane.

Indonesia's Aceh province began implementing sharia law after being granted special autonomy in...
Indonesia's Aceh province began implementing sharia law after being granted special autonomy in 2001
Chaideer Mahyuddin, AFP/File

Though the law once only applied to Muslims, a bylaw that took effect late last year allowed sharia regulations to be applied to non-Muslims in certain situations, Lili Suparli, a senior official at the Central Aceh prosecutor's office told AFP.

"This is the first case of a non-Muslim being punished under Islamic criminal bylaw," he said, referring to the punishment of the Christian woman.

Aceh began implementing sharia law after being granted special autonomy in 2001, an effort by the central government in Jakarta to quell a long-running separatist insurgency.

Aceh is the only province in the predominantly Muslim Indonesia that applies sharia law  and public ...
Aceh is the only province in the predominantly Muslim Indonesia that applies sharia law, and public canings for breaches of Islamic code happen on a regular basis
Chaideer Mahyuddin, AFP/File

Islamic laws have been strengthened since the province struck a peace deal with the central government in 2005.

More than 90 percent of Indonesians describe themselves as Muslim, but the vast majority practise a moderate form of the faith.

More about Indonesia, Islam, Court, Aceh
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