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INDONESIA

Judicial CP - December 1999



Gatra 04/VI, 11 December 1999

Islamic laws

Whipping for Adulterer

A whipping sentence for adulterer [sic] was applied for the first time in Aceh. Islamic laws will replace prevailing laws.

By Herry Mohammad

Zulkarnain alias Ogut, 25, stood fully clothes [sic] under the scorching sun, when he received 100 hundred [sic] lashes, at the volleyball field in Mata Ie Village, Blang Pidie, South Aceh, on November 27. The thumb-sized whip struck at his back, from his shoulders down to his legs. By pronouncing hasmalah and yelling Allahu Akbar, 10 executors each lashed 10 times to the body of Zulkarnain. Hundreds of spectators watched on, some of them closed their eyes, hands on their mouths. Or shifting their glances at the time when the whip struck the man who was sentenced to corporal punishment.

After the execution, Doctor Mawardi, head of Puskesmas (public health center) of Blang Pidie, checked Zulkarnain. He was declared as to be in good condition. He suffered no severe wounds, his body was only covered with bruises. Zulkarnain took a long breath. "I am really relieved after the punishment is over. All these time I have endured the shame which have prevented me from going out," he said.

The previous day, the High School graduate from Kuta Tinggi Village was charged to have engaged in illicit sex with a girl named Kurniawati, 18, from Mata Ie village. During the trial which was attended by the ulemas and local dignitaries, the kazhi (judge) decreed that Zulkarnain and Kurniawati had performed adultery. The court summoned four witnesses. While these two Adam and Eve grandchildren admitted that they have committed the illicit sex for several times, at the place of Kurniawati's friend. The Junior High School graduate girl is yet to receive her punishment as she is presently four months pregnant. The punishment was postponed and to be executed after the birth of her baby.

This is a new era of Aceh Special Province. According to the Draft Bill of the Aceh Special Province, passed by the House of Representatives last October 22, the people of the Front Porch of Mecca are permitted to carry out their Islamic laws. Head of Religious Court of Tapak Tuan, Muhammad Ali, fully support the implementation of the whipping punishment. "People will have to think hard to get themselves involved in something against the law," he said.

According to Dr. Safwam Idris, Rector of IAIN Arr Raniry, the implementation of the Islamic laws was urgently needed. The people of Aceh, he said, in actual fact has for years practice the Islamic laws in their traditional laws. "The government, however, seems not aware of this and they have keep on applying the laws which is not in accordance with the condition of the people of Aceh," Safwan told Ekmal M.N. Adha of GATRA. The result, still according to Safwan, when the sets of government laws are paralyzed, the people reacted by applying the laws long existing in the region, and hence this recent trial by the people. "This all was because the people are no longer have confidence with the government laws," he stressed out. "The implementation of the Islamic laws will need some adjustment with the local people condition. Which means that if a thief was caught in the act of stealing, his or her hand is not to be instantly cut off," he said.

The application of the Islamic laws is for the purpose to make people abide by the law. There are two types of Islamic laws for adultery, namely muhsan and gair muhsan. Muhsan means engaging in extramarital relations. They have the status as husband/wife, widow or widower. They are punishable with rajam, to be stone to death. This is according to the law applied by Muhammad the Prophet during his time. For gair muhsan, this involved people who engaged in illicit sex but never have married before. For this type, the punishment will be by 100 lashings. The law is as stipulated in the Koran, of An-Nur letter verse 2.

In providing proof of adultery, two methods can be applied. In addition to admission, also testimonies by four witnesses as specified in the Koran of An-Nnur letter verse 4. In the case of Zulkarnain - Kurniati, both methods applied. In the near future, both adulterers are to be married with the blessing of their parents. This is also according to the Koran of An-Nur letter verse 3, which also specified that adulterer should marry adulteress.

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