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 New stoning law is 'torture'

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PostSubject: New stoning law is 'torture'   Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:51 pm

New stoning law is 'torture'

JAKARTA - A NEW law mandating death by stoning for adulterers in Indonesia's deeply Islamic Aceh province advocates 'torture' and should be overturned, US-based group Human Rights Watch said on Monday.

'Stoning and flogging constitute torture in any circumstances,' Human Rights Watch Asia head Elaine Pearson said in a statement. Imposing these draconian punishments on private, consensual conduct means the government can dictate people's intimate lives.'

The law - which also allows punishments of up to 400 lashes for child rape, 100 lashes for homosexual acts and 60 lashes for gambling - was passed unanimously last month by lawmakers in the staunchly Islamic region. It has yet to be approved by the provincial governor and is opposed by the central government in Jakarta.

The law, based on local interpretations of Islamic or sharia law, is supposed to replace elements of Indonesia's criminal code. It allows the death penalty for a married person and 100 lashes for an unmarried person found guilty of adultery.

Human Rights Watch urged the central government and a new incoming local parliament in Aceh to overturn the law.

A foreign ministry spokesman, Teuku Faizasyah, told AFP the law would not come into effect without the approval of Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf, who has stated his opposition to the law. 'Even if local government approves it, if the central government thinks it's not in line with national law, the central government can ask it to overturn or annul the law,' he said, 'The central government wants to make it clear that the law and legislation at the provincial level should not in any way contradict the law and legislation promulgated at the national level.' -- AFP
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