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Ulema wants alleged police rapists in Aceh to be caned

Jakarta Globe - January 22, 2013

Nurdin Hasan, Banda Aceh – Islamic clerics in Aceh have demanded that the three police officers in the Simeulue district, who allegedly drugged and raped a 19-year-old woman, be caned for the reported offense.

Teungku Faisal Ali, the deputy head of the Aceh Consultative Assembly of Ulema (MPU), said on Tuesday that the alleged offenders, who have denied the allegations, deserved to be caned in public in keeping with the province's partial adoption of Shariah law.

"The police officers should be processed by using Islamic Shariah to serve as an example for everyone that Islamic Shariah in Aceh applies for everyone including police officers who are law enforcers," Faisal told the Jakarta Globe.

"There has been an impression among the public that police officers and soldiers who violate Islamic Shariah can not be charged with Shariah law. It is a wrong perception because who ever lives and stays in Aceh is equal before the law."

Marhadin, the uncle of the alleged 19-year old victim, said on Monday that the incident occurred last Thursday, when the woman arranged to meet one of the officers outside his rented room in the morning.

However, when they met, he and two other officers allegedly pushed her inside the room, where they forced her to consume methamphetamine. Marhadin said that she was raped by one of them while the others watched.

The police, however, insist there was no harm done, claiming that the sex was agreed upon beforehand and the officers had paid the victim afterward.

"The three police officers should be caned, even though it seems a light sentence, but it will serve as a lesson for people as it will have a deterrent effect and put them to shame publicly," said Faisal, who is also the chairman of the Aceh chapter of Nahdlatul Ulema.

But the Simeulue police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Parluatan Siregar told the Jakarta Globe that he would not charge the three officers with Shariah law as the sentence would be too light. "[They'll] likely get six cane strokes that won't deter them," he said.

He confirmed that the three officers had been placed in custody at the Simeulue Police office, not for the alleged sexual violence – after he claimed that the doctor who examined her did not find any rape indicators – but for using methamphetamine.

"What [was] said to be rape should be violence and threat, but there were none," Parluatan said.

"The suspects admitted that they agreed to pay Rp 200,000 ($20.7) per intercourse. So, we will process them with national law. The first is on [the] drug consumption case, and secondly on indecent behavior and violating code of conduct."