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Koalisi NGO HAM
Koalisi NGO HAM Aceh is involved in advocacy against discriminatory laws and policies in Aceh, Indonesia. Part of its strategy and approaches is building alliances with civil society organizations that share common perspectives and goals toward improving the human rights situation in the province such as the law on truth and reconciliation commission in Aceh, the qanun (laws based on the Shari’a) on education, on qanun procedures, and other related issues. They carry out lobbying at local, national and international level against qanuns that have adverse effects on the human rights of the Acehnese people.
On 14 September 2009 a set of regressive new qanuns, the Qanun Jinayat, were introduced in Aceh. The new law would imposed severe sentences including stoning for women for consensual extra-marital sexual relations and lashings for rape, homosexuality, alcohol consumption and gambling.
These new laws would affect not only women, but in practice, women are far more likely to become victims of stoning. Even though there is no article in law that mandates punishment by stoning exclusively for women, patriarchal and discriminatory practices, interpretations and policies, as well as biological differences such as pregnancy, make women far more likely than men to be found guilty of so-called “adultery”.
With active lobbying and actions by Koalisi NGO HAM and its allies (under the coalition the Jaringan Masyarakat Sipil Peduli Syariah or JMSPS) within the province and across the country and abroad, the Aceh provincial governor declared its stand not to sign the Qanun Jinayat thus postponing its implementation.
Despite this victory, the Koalisi and JMSPS decided to continue their work contesting and opposing regressive religious laws that are being applied in the Province of Aceh and to promote a humanist Syariah Islam that would protect and promote the rights of women and children amongst religious leaders in the province. This project is aimed at educating society on Islamic perspective to empower and strengthen women’s participation and providing holistic protection to people particularly women and children in Aceh regardless whether they belong to Muslim majority or other Acehnese minority groups.
The Koalisi and allies are campaigning through public awareness that expose the problems of misuse of Shari’a and to encourage the introduction of a more progressive Islamic system that promote women’s rights. They have produced:
- Story books/comics regarding the draft Qanun Jinayat and why it is against the principles and intentions of the humanist Islam; its impact on the people of Aceh if was implemented and why this Qanun has to be rejected. It offers an alternative vision of a humanist lslam. 1500 copies of this publication targeted at the young people in secondary schools and those in the university were produced.
- Radio messages on a humanist Islam and what it meant to protecting and promoting the rights of women and other vulnerable groups