BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Asia-Pacific
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Monday, 4 December, 2000, 18:22 GMT
Islamic law for Aceh
A previous rally held by Acehnese in Jakarta
Acehnese have long been calling for independence
Indonesia has agreed to allow its troubled Aceh province to introduce Islamic, or sharia law - a key demand of the staunchly Muslim territory.

Muslim women praying in Indonesia
Wahid has previously resisted calls for Islamisation of politics
The announcement came as Indonesian police stepped up security in the province, and removed hundreds of separatist flags put up to mark the 24th anniversary of the independence struggle.

Aceh governor Abdullah Puteh told reporters that President Abdurrahman Wahid had agreed to the introduction of sharia law during a meeting in Jakarta.

He said the president would visit the province on 15 December to celebrate Nuzulul Quran, the beginning of the Muslim holy book.


"[The president] will...declare the implementation of sharia law in Aceh" when he visits, the governor said.

Although strict sharia law can include punishments such as stoning and chopping the hands off thieves, its implementation in Aceh would probably involve bringing in Islamic banking, its own education system and generally more conservative moral policies.

Mr Wahid, who also announced a $10m aid package for the province two days ago, has previously offered Aceh a referendum on implementing sharia law.

Flags flying

Gunman, Aceh
Violence in Aceh has left 5,500 dead in the last decade
Patrols and troops had been beefed up in Aceh as the authorities warned they would crack down on any celebrations to mark the founding of the Free Aceh Movement on 4 December 1976.

Reports from the provincial capital, Banda Aceh, said the mood was calm and residents had gathered at mosques to pray for peace.

The official Antara news agency reported that thousands of the banned red Aceh flags were flying across the province.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

14 Nov 00 | Asia-Pacific
Aceh calls for 'Timor-style' vote
11 Nov 00 | Asia-Pacific
Aceh crowds demand independence
10 Nov 00 | Asia-Pacific
Violence feared at Aceh rally
25 Nov 99 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Indonesia needs Aceh
13 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Indonesia's fragile archipelago
25 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Aceh truce extended
20 Oct 00 | Asia-Pacific
Wahid marks tricky first year
08 Nov 99 | Asia-Pacific
Acehnese demand independence
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories