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Poachers To Face Lashings Under New Endangered Animal Rules In Indonesia

by : Emily Brown on : 04 Oct 2019 14:50
Poachers To Face Lashings Under New Endangered Animal Rules In IndonesiaPoachers To Face Lashings Under New Endangered Animal Rules In IndonesiaPA Images

A new law in Indonesia means poachers who threaten endangered animals could be subject to 100 lashes of a cane. 

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Despite the policy being internationally condemned, the rules have been put in place in Indonesia’s Aceh province, the only region in the country that imposes religious law.

The punishment, known as ‘flogging’, is already common in the conservative region for several offences, including gambling, drinking alcohol and having gay or premarital sex, though the cane is usually reserved for morality crimes under Islamic law.

Poachers threatening wildlife in Indonesia could be whipped 100 timesPoachers threatening wildlife in Indonesia could be whipped 100 timesPA Images

The new rules were adopted last week, marking the first time crimes against wildlife fall under Aceh’s strict Sharia code, Straits Times report.

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When it comes into effect, people convicted of endangering or exploiting orangutans, tigers and other wildlife could be subject to up to 100 strokes from a rattan cane, in addition to any prison time under national laws.

Civil servants charged with protecting animals could also be whipped as many as 60 times if they are found to be negligent in their duties.

TigerTigerPixabay

The WWF have identified parts of Indonesia as ‘wildlife trade hotspots’, where ‘wildlife trade is particularly threatening’, though they have not specified whether Aceh is one of these regions.

According to AFP, as per Straits Times, Aceh lawmaker Nurzahri said the harsh new ruling underscores efforts to clamp down on poaching and other threats to local wildlife, including birds endemic to jungle-clad Sumatra.

The politician explained:

Maintaining nature and its balance is part of Islamic law.

Aceh is the centre of biodiversity in Sumatra and it’s the habitat of some animals like Sumatran orangutans, rhinos, elephants and tigers.

Peru Passes Momentous Ban On Palm Oil DeforestationPeru Passes Momentous Ban On Palm Oil DeforestationPA Images
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The controversial punishment has been met with backlash from rights groups, who have slammed public caning as cruel. Although Indonesian President Joko Widodo has called for an end to caning, the practice has wide support among Aceh’s population, where about 98 per cent of the region’s five million residents are Muslim.

According to the Kuwait Times, Marwan, the head of the local public order agency, commented on public flogging after the punishment was carried out on three couples found having premarital sex earlier this year.

He said:

This law is designed to have a deterrent effect, not only for the offenders but for the spectators who watch the caning. The pain of being flogged is not that bad, the embarrassment is worse.

The new rules are expected to start being rolled out early next year.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Animals, conservation, Indonesia, poaching

Credits

Straits Times and 2 others
  1. Straits Times

    Indonesia's Aceh province says wildlife poachers to get up to 100 strokes of the cane

  2. Kuwait Times

    Indonesia’s conservative Aceh whips unmarried couples after hotel raid

  3. WWF

    ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE