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Indonesia accused of imposing torture with new Aceh law

last updated Oct 19, 2009

A new criminal bylaw passed by the provincial parliament of the autonomous Indonesian region of Aceh on September 14, 2009, has been criticised by Human Rights Watch (HRW) for imposing torture, violating the right to privacy, and failing to protect victims of sexual violence. The new law prescribes the stoning to death of those convicted of marital adultery, and flogging for homosexual conduct and for adulterous conduct between unmarried partners. Furthermore, the law fails to criminalise marital rape and introduces discriminatory and unjust evidentiary requirements to prove rape. According to HRW, the law violates Indonesia’s international human rights obligations as well as their constitution, which confer an irrevocable right to freedom from torture. The new law will take effect in mid-October unless national authorities intervene.

HRW News: Indonesia: New Aceh Law Imposes Torture