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December 1st, 2010

Aceh Human rights group criticizes Sharia in Indonesia

JAKARTA, INDONESIA – The use of Islamic law in the Indonesian province of Aceh has resulted in widespread human rights abuses according to Human Rights Watch.

  • Laws imposing strict Islamic dress codes and prohibiting unrelated individuals of opposite genders from sharing isolated spaces have led to arbitrary arrests, abuse and torture according to report.
  • Human Rights Watch calls on Indonesian government to repeal the two laws, but takes no position on Sharia law.
  • Sharia legal officers and police in Aceh dismiss report, but Indonesian government says it is reviewing local laws that could conflict with national constitutional rights.
  • Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim country but is politically secular.

Analysts available for comment:

KEN ROTH is Executive Director of Human Rights Watch. He previously served as a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Iran-Contra investigation in Washington. See full bio…
Location: New York, USA
Languages: English, French

DEWI FORTUNA ANWAR is former spokesperson for the President of Indonesia. She now serves as Research Director for the Habibie Center, a Jakarta-based thinktank focusing on Indonesian public policy and democratization. See full bio…
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Languages: English, Indonesian

ENDY BAYUNI is the former chief editor of The Jakarta Post, Indonesia’s leading independent English language newspaper, and a former Indonesia correspondent for Reuters and Agence France Presse. He continues to write regularly on Indonesian domestic politics, including political Islam and foreign policy. See full bio…
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Languages: English
, Indonesian

SIDNEY JONES is senior advisor for the Asia program at International Crisis Group. She is an expert on security in South-East Asia, particularly Islamic extremism in Indonesia. She previously served as Asia Director for Human Rights Watch (1989-2002), and has closely examined separatist conflict in Aceh. See full bio…
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Languages: English

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