(RNS) Islamic religious police in Indonesia plan to publicly flog a 25-year-old widow and a married man for adultery after vigilantes gang-raped her as punishment for having extramarital sex, according to media reports.
The woman and her paramour, a 40-year-old father of five, were surprised late Wednesday (May 7) by seven men and a 13-year-old boy who barged into her home in Aceh, which is the only province to enforce the system of Islamic law known as Shariah, the Sydney Morning Herald reported Tuesday, citing The Jakarta Globe.
The group tied up and beat the man, repeatedly raped the woman and poured raw sewage over them before taking the couple to the local Shariah police.
“We want the couple caned because they violated the religious bylaw on sexual relations,” Ibrahim Latif, the head of the Shariah police of the town of Langsa, told the Globe. He said the couple had “confessed to having sex on several previous occasions.”
Because the gang-rape happened after the adultery, it will not mitigate the Shariah punishment, he said. Each faces nine lashes with a cane in public. No date was given.
The caning was endorsed by the provincial head of Nahdlatul Ulama, the country’s largest Islamic organization, but he said the vigilantes should be punished in criminal and religious courts for taking the law into their own hands.
“The punishment for the mob that raped the victim must be much harsher because they have set back efforts to uphold Shariah in Aceh,” said Teungku Faisal Ali, who leads the Islamist group in Aceh.
Two men and the teen have been arrested, and police have appealed for the other five to surrender.
(Michael Winter writes for USA Today.)
MG END WINTER