Punisher Unveils Tricks of the Cane Trade


Banda Aceh, TAG - M. is a member of the Wilayatul Hisbah, Aceh’s Shariah Police, and he is proud of it. But the athletically built 33-year-old is no ordinary officer. With a shy smile, he looked about awkwardly when he said that aside from his wife, nobody in his family knew a thing about his actual job: he is one of the officers who cane people — old or young — for violating Shariah laws. M. is an algojo, a punisher.

Aceh adopted a form of Shariah law in 2001 as part of the regional autonomy offered to help quell separatist sentiment. 

Some human right groups, including Amnesty International, recently argued that caning violates the UN Convention against Torture, which Indonesia ratified in 1998, and urged Indonesia to bring Aceh’s bylaws in line with international and national human rights laws and standards. 

The rights group urged Jakarta to repeal a bylaw used to openly cane at least 21 men for gambling this month. 

But according to M. the Acehnese are required to abide by all local Shariah regulations. And violators, he believes, must be punished. 

M. explained that his job entailed following strict procedures — for his own security. A dark-colored cloth, with holes for the eyes, covers his entire head. An eye mask is additionally tied around the head.
Everything is deliberate, right down to the gloves on his hands — nobody should recognize him in any way, least of all the people who violated Shariah law and are to be caned. 

M. revealed that he remembers the first time he walked on to a stage, with a rattan cane measuring up to a meter. He remembers the thousands who filled the compounds of the Bireuen Grand Mosque to witness the punishment.
“There was a prosecutor walking with me on each side. This was in June 2005. Thousands watched me. I was anxious. What if I conducted [the caning] wrongly? What if I violated the code? And then I though, what if, once I cane this gambler, he gets mad. And hits me back,” M. said. “I prayed to Allah to give me strength and guidance.” 

M. beat the gambler without hesitation and made no mistakes. He said that everything went in accordance to the rules. He would then go on to conduct canings eight different time across the province.
“My parents do not know what I do. Only my wife does, and she is OK with this. I have never caned a woman, however. It is a bit tough, caning a woman because she is in a sitting position,” said M., a father to a 2-year-old boy. 

“If you are not really skilled you could end up striking her head, which is against the rules.”

Separately, another Shariah Police officer, identified as A., said that he had caned a woman. 

“I do not feel remorse for those being caned, because they are getting what they deserve in accordance to regulations in Aceh,” he said. 

M. insisted that keep his identity secret, because he could still be instructed to carry out other canings in the future. 

A graduate of the State Islamic Institute (IAIN) Ar-Raniry in Banda Aceh, M. joined the Wilayatul Hisbah in February 2004, six months after he completed his education. He worked on temporary contracts for two years and earned Rp 750,000 ($85) a month, plus an operational allowance of Rp 250,000. As a bachelor, this was enough.
 Today, he makes nearly Rp 2 million as a Grade 3A civil servant. M.’s wife is also a civil servant. She graduated from the Syiah Kuala Unversity’s School of Law and works at the Aceh provincial administration’s Shariah Office.
“My main duty, on a day-to-day basis, is to interrogate those detained over Shariah violations. We also conduct raids at nights, particularly during weekends, at hotels and cafes,” M. said. 

Syarifuddin, a top commander of the Wilayatul Hisbah, said that officers like M. and A. were necessary to upholding Shariah law.
“Normally when we get hold of violators, we warn them, asking them not to repeat their mistake. We only enforce the law when someone has been arrested several times and cannot be convinced the nice way,” Syarifuddin said. 

“Violations of Shariah law are a disease that needs to be eradicated from the lands of Aceh.”[]
Punisher Unveils Tricks of the Cane Trade Punisher Unveils Tricks of the Cane Trade Reviewed by Nurdin Hasan on January 04, 2012 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. good blog..nice article publishing by you...appreciate on you...thanks for giving detail..
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