14 People Caned for Playing Games of Chance

Banda Aceh, TAG - Fourteen people convicted of violating Aceh’s strict Islamic code on gambling were publicly caned in Langsa, East Aceh, a prosecutor said on Friday.

 Irvon, who heads the general crimes division at the Langsa Prosecutors Office, said each of the 14 offenders received six lashes within the grounds of the Darul Falah Mosque on Thursday.

A 2003 qanun, or Islamic bylaw, on gambling carries a maximum punishment of 12 lashes and a minimum of six.

“In court, all of the 14 suspects accepted the Shariah ruling to be caned six times. So, that very afternoon, they were punished,” Irvon told the Jakarta Globe over the phone.

He said the offenders had been arrested by police in different locations across the district for playing judi toto gelap , a lottery game that is called togel in other parts of the country.

Irvon said at least seven other people who had also violated the ban on gambling were caned on May 12.

Other cases, including that of four public officials from Aceh Besar who were arrested in January for gambling, were still pending due to appeals at the provincial Shariah Court, he said. Although the four officials have been convicted, their punishment has been postponed while the appeals are being processed.

Shariah law was first implemented in Aceh in August 2003 after the province was granted partial autonomy as part of a deal to ease the separatist conflict there.

However, the system has been dogged by criticism over perceived double standards that target women and minority groups.[]
14 People Caned for Playing Games of Chance 14 People Caned for Playing Games of Chance Reviewed by Nurdin Hasan on May 22, 2011 Rating: 5

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