Last Updated: Tue Nov 02, 2010 20:45 pm (KSA) 17:45 pm (GMT)

Adulterers face stoning in Indonesia’s Aceh

Aceh is the only province in Indonesia to use sharia for its legal code (File)
Aceh is the only province in Indonesia to use sharia for its legal code (File)

Muslims who commit adultery in Indonesia's Aceh province may be stoned to death under a controversial new sharia, or Islamic law, passed by the local parliament on Monday.

"All parties agreed unanimously to pass the bill into a law, including the article stipulating the punishment of death by stoning," parliamentary special hearing chairman Bachron M. Rasyid told reporters.

"This law will be effective in 30 days with or without the approval of Aceh's governor," he said.

 All parties agreed unanimously to pass the bill into a law, including the article stipulating the punishment of death by stoning 
Bachron M Rasyid

The "qanun jinayat", or sharia, Islamic law, for crimes, covers adultery, consumption of alcohol, rape and homosexuality. Adultery is punishable by stoning to death, while other punishments include caning, gold fines and imprisonment.

The administration of Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf, a former rebel fighter of the separatist Free Aceh Movement, is opposed to the strict sharia law. It had urged a delay in the bill's deliberation.

The provincial government initially proposed the law but now says it rejects some of the clauses added by parliament and wants to make some further revisions.

The law replaces elements of the civil code with sharia or Islamic law. It stipulates punishments of up to 100 lashes of the cane for unmarried people who commit adultery and death by stoning for married people.

Aceh is the only province in predominantly Muslim Indonesia to use sharia for its legal code, introduced as part of an autonomy deal in 2002.

It had previously only partially adopted sharia law, enforcing modest Muslim dress codes, mandatory prayers five times a day, fasting and the giving of alms to the poor.

The Islamic law code was introduced under a broad autonomy package granted by Indonesia's central government in 2001 to pacify the hard-line Muslim region's demand for independence.

Separatists in Aceh had been fighting the Indonesian government since 1976 until a peace deal in 2005.

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