“The vigilantes doused the duo with ‘sewage,’ apparently raw human waste…”
In what will appear to Western sensibilities like a scene straight out of the seventh century, a yet to be identified victim of a gang-raping is facing the real possibility of being publicly flogged for violating Islam’s über-strict Shari’a Law. As reported by both Ireland’s Raidió Teilifís Éireann News Service and the Paris-based Agence France-Presse via The Straights Times (of Singapore), the Indonesian sexual assault victim may face as many as 9 strokes to her bare back and buttocks for allegedly violating the Islamic legal code against adultery.
Identified by police in the Indonesian city of Langsa in the Western province of Aceh only as a 25-year-old widow, the woman was taken into custody by the city’s own version of Saudi Arabia’s Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (popularly known simply as the “Morality Police”) only after being repeatedly sexually assaulted by a gang of eight vigilantes. The eight took the law into their own hands when they were informed that the woman was supposedly having an ongoing love affair with a 40-year-old married man.
The self-deputized posse not only took turns in the brutal sexual violation of the woman but reportedly beat her presumed lover as well. Then vigilantes then doused the duo with “sewage” before turning them over to authorities.
With Aceh being the only Indonesian province that has replaced all secular law with Islamic Shari’a, police chief Ibrahim Latif, of Langsa’s Shari’a Law Enforcement Office, decreed that both halves of the allegedly adulterous couple would face public flogging if and when found guilty. He was quoted as saying, “We want the couple to be caned for violating sharia law on adultery.” Using a local variety of rattan known as Palembang, the palm is known as heavier than most rattan due to its density. Because of its strength and especially length, Palembang is well known for causing deep wounds and lasting scars.
Aceh province was brought to the attention of the Western World when the area was devastated by the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004, which killed an estimated 300,000 people in the Indian Ocean region. Centered in Aceh, an estimated $250 million worth of support was provided across the region by the United States Armed Forces, mostly by the American Navy and Marines.