Thursday, 4 August 2016

Indonesia: Sharia Police raids stores selling condoms

Aceh, a region in Indonesia, is known as a “special” territory because they are allowed to implement aspects of sharia law such as publicly caning young people who are found guilty of spending time alone with one another.

Despite Aceh’s harsh rules regarding sexual morality, condoms have remained available for purchase in convenience stores in the region.

It looks like that is about to change as members of the Satpol PP (Civil Service Police) and the Wilayatul Hisbah (Sharia Police) in Takengon, Central Aceh, raided three  convenience stores yesterday and seized dozens of condom packets from them.

According to Syahrial Afri,  the head of both Takengon’s Satpol PP and Wilayatul Hisbah, the raid was carried out after police received complaints from the public that condoms were being sold freely at the stores."Well after that, we went out to the field and it was true there were contraceptives being sold there. Now we will combine the public reports which complained about the sale of these objects with the regulations,” Syahrial said as quoted by Kompas.

He added, “We thought, if people feel uneasy or uncomfortable, it is our obligation to seek out and solve the problem."

Syahrial said that it was acceptable for husbands and wives to buy condoms but said that they should not be sold freely to anybody. He said the main problem was that teenagers could purchase the condoms, which would inevitably lead to violations of sharia law.

The civil and sharia police head admitted there currently aren't any laws expressly forbidding the sale of condoms at the stores, he said he would consult with other government agencies in order to find ways to restrict their sales in the future.