Indonesia executes six drug convicts, five of them foreigners

Indonesia executes six drug convicts, five of them foreigners
Widodo has pledged to bring reform to Indonesia

Ban appeals to Indonesia to stop death row executions

Ban appeals to Indonesia to stop death row executions
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has pleaded to Indonesia to stop the execution of prisoners on death row for drug crimes. AFP PHOTO

Pope: 'Death penalty represents failure' – no 'humane' way to kill a person

Pope: 'Death penalty represents failure' – no 'humane' way to kill a person
The pope wrote that the principle of legitimate personal defense isn’t adequate justification to execute someone. Photograph: Zuma/Rex

Obama becomes first president to visit US prison (US Justice Systems / Human Rights)

Obama becomes first president to visit US prison   (US Justice Systems / Human Rights)
US President Barack Obama speaks as he tours the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Oklahoma, July 16, 2015 (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

US Death Penalty (Justice Systems / Human Rights)

US Death Penalty (Justice Systems / Human Rights)
Woman who spent 23 years on US death row cleared (Photo: dpa)


"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Whipped by the sharia police

AFP, Nurdin Hasan, 13 July 2015

An Acehnese woman convicted of 'immoral acts' is caned in public in Banda
Aceh on June 12, 2015. 
(AFP Photo / Chaideer Mayhuddin)

Public canings for "immoral acts" have been on the rise in Aceh, the only province in Indonesia allowed to implement Islamic sharia law. Nurdin Hasan offers a first-hand account of one such caning in the provincial capital Banda Aceh.

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia, July 13, 2015 - It's not clear if the caning itself was responsible for the young woman collapsing, or the trauma of being punished so publicly before an enormous crowd.

Lashed four times, the university student fainted as she was taken by sharia police from the stage, erected outside a mosque in downtown Banda Aceh for a public caning after Friday prayers.

She wasn't alone on the dais. Five other university students - all unwed and aged between 18 and 23 - and a woman in her 40s were paraded by sharia police and public prosecutors in front of a large crowd, their heads bowed. One man put his face in his hands, avoiding the stares and jeers.

An Acehnese woman convicted of 'immoral acts' is caned in public in Banda
Aceh on June 12, 2015. 
(AFP Photo / Chaideer Mayhuddin)

The older woman had been charged with adultery. The three young couples were caught by sharia police alone with each other – something forbidden in Aceh outside marriage.

Such behaviour is acceptable elsewhere in Indonesia but not in this deeply-religious province, the only one in the world's most populous Muslim-majority country allowed to implement Islamic law.

Sharia in wake of tsunami

The westernmost province was granted a degree of autonomy in 2001 in a deal with Jakarta aimed at quelling a decades-long separatist movement, including the right to implement sharia law.

The devastating tsunami that struck Aceh in 2004, leaving some 170,000 dead in Indonesia and tens of thousands more in countries round the Indian Ocean, provided the impetus for the central government and rebels to finally strike a peace deal.

The province maintained its broad autonomy and has been steadily implementing a growing number of sharia regulations since.

An Acehnese woman convicted of pimping is caned in public in Banda Aceh
on June 12, 2015. 
 (AFP Photo / Chaideer Mayhuddin)

Some of the bylaws in the devout province are extreme by Western standards. Women are forced to sit sideways on motorcycles in some parts of the province because straddling is deemed lewd, and laws have been passed prohibiting unmarried couples from riding together at all.

100 whipped this year

Punks have had their heads shaved and piercings removed before being bathed in public and sent to re-education classes. Sharia police roam the streets at night in search of people committing "immoral acts", independent of the regular police force.

Canings began in 2005, and have been on the rise ever since. Roughly 100 Acehnese have been whipped this year alone.

An Acehnese woman convicted of 'immoral acts' prepares to be caned
in Banda Aceh on June 12, 2015. 
 (AFP Photo / Chaideer Mayhuddin)

Though commonplace elsewhere in Aceh, this caning was the first of the year in the bustling capital, and roughly 1,000 people had turned out for the macabre spectacle.

There are few entertainment outlets in the city, and the local authorities actively encourage citizens to get involved.

Children in the crowd

The atmosphere is rowdy in the town square as the students, clad in white gowns, are brought from the paddywagon to the stage.

Insults are hurled at those awaiting punishment. Young children are among those jostling for a view, despite being technically forbidden from attending the public events. Camera phones are held aloft for a snap.

An Acehnese woman convicted of 'immoral acts' is lashed at a public caning
in Banda Aceh on June 12, 2015. 
(AFP Photo / Chaideer Mayhuddin)

Female officers from the sharia police, one at each arm, bring forward the women, who are knelt down as their charge is read out by a prosecutor.

Goaded to strike harder

Shrouded from head to toe in dark cloth, with a slitted mask leaving just the eyes exposed, a hooded figure - a specialist from the sharia police known as an "algojo" - steps forward bearing a metre-long length of rattan cane.

For years the algojo could raise his arm no higher than shoulder height, but that was revised in 2013 to allow for more vigorous swings.

An Acehnese man convicted of 'immoral acts' prepares for his public caning
in Banda Aceh on June 12, 2015. 
(AFP Photo / Chaideer Mayhuddin)

Kneeling, the terrified students can do little but squeeze their eyes shut and grimace as the cane comes whizzing down. The algojo is goaded into striking harder by the crowd, and disappointment sets in if the punishment is deemed less than the offence.

Unwed people found fraternising with the opposite sex face three to nine lashes; gamblers six to 12. Those caught drinking in the devout province are threatened with 40 lashes. From October, if the Acehnese parliament agrees to a new provision, the range of acts punishable by caning will expand.

An Acehnese man convicted of 'immoral acts' is lashed by a local government
officer in Banda Aceh on June 12, 2015. 
(AFP Photo / Chaideer Mayhuddin)

Couples caught kissing in public could face up to 45 lashes, while homosexuals found guilty of gay sex risk 100.

While the laws seem harsh on paper, many regulations are in practice not strictly enforced or followed.

The province is home to beautiful scenery and some popular spots for surfing and diving, and draws a small number of foreign visitors every year.

Overseas tourists are not exempt from sharia law, and a new regulation passed last year means Islamic regulations now apply even to non-Muslims. But there have not been reports of foreigners being punished under sharia law and Acehnese are generally welcoming of visitors as long as they dress “modestly” in public places and refrain from public displays of affection.

Acehnese women convicted of 'immoral acts' sit inside a paddywagon following their
public caning in Banda Aceh on June 12, 2015. (
AFP Photo / Chaideer Mayhuddin)

Many in Aceh feel the laws don't go far enough. There have been calls for officials found guilty of corruption - a common bugbear in Indonesia - to face the cane, but most know it's unlikely to happen.

Locals grumble that those in high office are spared the cane even when caught indulging in “lewd” behavior, pointing to a respected community leader who was arrested in a salon with women unrelated to him two years ago without consequence.

The students are given no such leniency. Their humiliating ordeal lasts just over an hour, until they are taken away, the crowd dispersed, and the stage dismantled.

Nurdin Hasan has been a regular contributor for AFP from Indonesia's western province of Aceh since 2000.

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