Alleged gang-rape victim faces caning in Indonesia

Tuesday 06 May 2014 21.58
A sharia officer prepares to cane a man in Aceh
A sharia officer prepares to cane a man in Aceh

A woman allegedly gang-raped in Indonesia's Aceh as a punishment for sleeping with a married man may still be caned for the affair under the province's Islamic laws, an official said today.

A group of eight men allegedly carried out the sex assault last week on the 25-year-old widow at her house in Langsa in East Aceh district.

They also beat up the man with whom she is accused of having an affair.

After the attack, which also saw the couple doused with sewage, the pair were handed over to sharia officials.

Ibrahim Latif, head of Langsa's Islamic law office, said both the 40-year-old man and woman still face up to nine lashes of the cane in public over the affair.

"We want the couple to be caned for violating sharia law on adultery," he said.

He said the rapists "will also be brought to justice".

Police have arrested three suspected rapists, including a 13-year old boy, while the five others are still on the run.

Special police enforce Islamic law in Aceh, the only province in Indonesia which has sharia.

There is also a regular police force to enforce the criminal law for offences such as rape.

Aceh, on the northern tip of the western island of Sumatra, was granted the right to use Islamic law more than a decade ago in an attempt to give the province more autonomy and end a long-running separatist insurgency.

More than 90% of Indonesians describe themselves as Muslims but the vast majority practise a moderate form of Islam.