Nurdin Hasan, Banda Aceh – Police in Aceh have arrested three people, including a 13-year-old boy, and are hunting five others for allegedly raping a woman they accused of having extramarital sex.
The three male suspects currently in custody, ranging in age from 28 to 13 years, were arrested over the weekend for the alleged rape that occurred in the early hours of Thursday in the eastern Aceh town of Langsa, police said.
Adj. Sr. Comr. Hariadi, the chief of police in Langsa, said the incident began late on Wednesday, when the suspects, part of a group of eight males, raided the home of the 25-year-old woman and allegedly caught her about to have sex with a 40-year-old married man.
"The perpetrators tied up the woman's companion and took the woman into another room, where they raped her," he told the Jakarta Globe on Sunday.
He said police had already identified the five other suspects and appealed to their families to turn them in.
Extramarital sex is prohibited in Aceh, which exercises a limited form of Shariah, or Islamic law, and vigilante raids against suspected violators, though illegal, are common and even condoned by the local clergy and authorities.
The province's Shariah police, or Wilayatul Hisbah, generally handle such cases, and officials confirmed that the couple in the Langsa raid was brought in for questioning on the grounds of "tarnishing the village's reputation" – after the woman had been raped and her companion beaten up.
"Before they turned over the couple to the authorities, the men who caught them also doused them in sewage," Ibrahim Latif, the head of the Shariah office in Langsa, told the Globe.
He said the men had not told the Shariah officers about raping the woman, with officers only finding out during their interrogation of the victim.
"The men beat up [the companion] before tying him up. They also forced the woman to perform oral sex on them and groped her," Ibrahim said. "We later confirmed through tests that the woman had been raped by the eight men."
He said his office was working closely with the police to arrest the vigilante mob.
This is not the first case in Aceh of a rape being committed against a woman accused of inappropriate conduct with an unrelated male. A 20-year-old university student was raped by three Shariah police officers in Langsa in January 2010 after being caught riding on a motorcycle with her boyfriend.
The town's Shariah police chief, Syahril, was subsequently fired and two of the perpetrators were later sentenced to eight years in prison each. The third perpetrator was never caught.