Showing posts with label Sharia Law. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sharia Law. Show all posts

December 29, 2014

Sharia law Forces LGBT to hide in Indonesia


                                                                                
 The fingernails of a transgender person are seen as she applies nail polish at her office in Banda Aceh, December 25, 2014. 
CREDIT: REUTERS/BEAWIHARTA
                                                                           


Overwhelmed by fear, members of the main gay rights group in the Indonesian town of Banda Aceh started burning piles of documents outside their headquarters in late October, worried that the sharia police would raid them at any moment.

Indonesia's northernmost province of Aceh had weeks earlier passed an anti-homosexuality law that punishes anyone caught having gay sex with 100 lashes. Amnesty International criticized it, saying it would add to a climate of homophobia and fear.

"We are more afraid, of course," said a 31-year-old transgender person who, along with three other members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) group, Violet Grey, burned the pamphlets, group records and other papers.


"As an institution, Violet Grey went as far as removing all documents related to LGBT. We burned them all," said the group member, who declined to be identified out of fear of being arrested.

The province's tight-knit gay community, estimated by some at about 1,000 people, has become increasingly marginalized since Aceh was allowed to adopt Islamic sharia law as its legal code.

Aceh was granted special regional autonomy as part of a 2005 peace agreement ending a three-decade old separatist insurgency.

After the anti-homosexuality law was passed in September, Violet Grey began warning its 47 members to keep a lower profile and for gay and transgender people to avoid going out together as couples in public.

No one has been arrested under the law, which Aceh officials say will not be enforced until the end of 2015 to allow residents time to prepare for it. But this has not eased the fear in the gay community. 

Even before the law, life was not easy for gay people in the most religiously conservative part of Indonesia, the north of Sumatra island where Islam first arrived in the archipelago.

The gay community is a target of regular harassment from sharia police and residents. Transgender people are particularly vulnerable because of the difficulty of concealing themselves in public.

In 2011, a transgender make-up artist was stabbed to death in Banda Aceh after she held up a stick in response to a man's taunts.


OTHER PROVINCES TO FOLLOW?

Aceh authorities defend the law, saying it does not violate human rights because gay people are free to live together but just can not have sex.

The law also sets out punishment for various acts apart from gay sex including unmarried people engaging in displays of affection, adultery and underage sex. 

"It is forbidden because in the sharia context, the act is vile," Syahrizal Abbas, the head of Aceh's sharia department, which drew up the law, told Reuters. 

"It brings unhealthy psychological impact to human development, and it will affect the community."

Outside Aceh, Indonesia is generally tolerant of gay people, particularly in urban areas like Jakarta.

Engaging in homosexual acts is not a crime under Indonesia's national criminal code but remains taboo in many conservative parts of the country, which has the world's largest Muslim population. 

Gay rights groups fear other conservative provinces, such as South Sumatra and East Java could follow Aceh's lead if Indonesia's new president, Joko Widodo, does not step in and overturn the law. 

Widodo's administration is reviewing the law to see whether it violates human rights but it can only request changes and cannot overturn it, said Teguh Setyabudi, the home ministry's head of regional autonomy.

The Violet Grey member hopes the law will eventually be overturned so she can walk home without watching her back in fear.

"Being like this is our fate, not a choice," she said.

"What makes people wearing a jilbab and peci feel so righteous that they can condemn other people as sinful?" she asked, referring to a woman’s veil and a traditional Muslim cap worn by men.
(Reuters) - 


(Additional reporting by Reza Munawir in Banda Aceh; Editing by Randy Fabi and Robert Birsel)

May 10, 2014

Mother and Uncle Ordered Extradited for Honor Killing in India


B.C. judge orders mother, uncle extradited to India in 'honour killing'

On June 8, 2000, Jassi Sidhu and Mithu Singh Sidhu were attacked in India by a group of men, with Mithu being badly beaten and Jassi abducted. Her body was found the next day, her throat slit.

Photograph by: Submitted , for the TIMES 
























VANCOUVER - A mother and uncle accused in the so-called “honour" killing of a young British Columbia woman have been ordered turned over to police in India to face trial for her murder.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge recounted the tragic details of Jaswinder (Jassi) Sidhu's life and death on Friday as he announced the pair should be extradited.
"Jassi secretly married," Justice Gregory Finch said in a Vancouver courtroom. "She did so contrary to the wishes of her family, who wanted her to accept an arranged marriage.
“Jassi was in love with Mithu, excited about spending her life with him and planning to bring him to Canada."

Married on March 15, 1999, the 25-year-old newlywed was found dead on June 8, 2000, her throat slit. Her husband survived the attack.
Indian police allege Malkit Kaur Sidhu, her mother, and Surjit Singh Badesha, her maternal uncle, ordered her death when she refused to annul her clandestine marriage to a poor rickshaw driver.

Finch went over testimony from friends and RCMP officers, in whom Jassi Sidhu confided her love and her fears.

After Jassi Sidhu's family discovered her marriage at the beginning of 2000, friends and a former neighbour testified that the young woman was assaulted and threatened. She was locked in her room. Her passport was taken away, her bank account locked.
"Badesha and Sidhu resorted to violence and threats of violence," Finch said.
The judge noted that at one point she was surrounded by eight to 10 family members — aunts, cousins, her mother and uncle — who hit and slapped her for refusing to abandon the union. She showed up for work the next day with bruises.

"Jassi feared for her life and Mithu's life, was worried that something was going to be done to them and did not know what they were capable of," Finch said.
"Badesha threatened to kill Jassi if she returned to India. Despite the emotional pressures, threats and physical abuse to which she was subjected, Jassi continued to defy her family’s wishes and returned to India to preserve her marriage and bring Mithu to Canada to live with her."

On Feb. 1, 2000, the first of 266 phone calls took place between the Badesha home and the four men eventually convicted of Jassi Sidhu's murder in India, Finch noted.---- Malkit Sidhu and Badesha appeared in court via video-link.
Dressed in a jail-issue dark green sweatsuit, Sidhu sat motionless with her hands loosely in her lap. Badesha, dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit with a blue kerchief covering his head, leaned forward as the judge revisited evidence, his face dropping out of view on the courtroom monitor.

The pair fought extradition, arguing there wasn't enough evidence to send them to India.---- Malkit Kaur Sidhu's lawyer acknowledged his client was upset with the marriage, but said that didn't prove she conspired to have her daughter killed.
Badesha's lawyer suggested the passage of time and widespread coverage of the crime — including a movie and a book based on her life — made witness testimony unreliable.
Jim Longridge, the former principal at Jassi Sidhu's high school in Maple Ridge, was in court Friday to hear the decision.
He remembers a quiet, friendly and studious girl. He said he didn’t realize the situation she faced at home.

"I couldn't believe she's been murdered and apparently nothing was going to be done about it," said Longridge, who spent years writing letters to politicians and police asking for action in Canada on her murder overseas.

"These two people — her mother and uncle — were walking around Maple Ridge as though they weren't involved," he said. "It wasn't right."
Badesha, now 69, and Sidhu, 65, remain in custody until their surrender to Indian authorities. They can appeal the extradition order to the federal justice minister.

BY DENE MOORE, CANADIAN PRESS

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