Indonesia - Calls for Review of Aceh's Sharia Law
339 people were caned in 2016, including 37 women. By Feb. 2 this year, 26 people have been caned in the province, mostly for gambling.
An Acehnese woman screams during caning as part of her sentence in the courtyard of the Baiturrahman Mosque in Banda Aceh. (Reuters Photo/Junaidi Hanafiah)
A rights group has called on the central government to review Aceh's provincial Islamic criminal code, or Qanun Jinayat, as more people are set to face caning this year under the law.
The Jakarta-based Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR) slammed the punishment for contradicting Indonesia's Criminal Code.
The group recorded 339 people were caned in 2016, including 37 women.
By Feb. 2 this year, 26 people have been caned in the province, mostly for gambling.
"We've seen an increase in people getting caned since the Qanun Jinayat was legalized in late 2015. Our data showed the Aceh Sharia Court issued 301 verdicts between January and November 2016," ICJR executive Supriyadi W. Eddyono said in a statement on Sunday (05/02).
More people are expected to get flogged as well as the shariah court started imposing heavier sentences, he added.
The group also called on the Home Affairs Ministry to evaluate the implementation of the sharia law as soon as possible by considering the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant Against Torture, which have been ratified as law in 1998.
In 2014, a special ministry team found several points in Aceh's sharia criminal code contradicts the country's Criminal Code and other laws regulating the Military Court, National Police, Attorney General's Office, Indonesian Military and the Aceh Special Administration.
Despite the discrepancies, Aceh's provincial parliament had given their stamp of approval to the sharia law in September 2014.