"The rampage prompted an angry mob of residents to threaten to burn down the hotel.”
Ain’t no fun to fall foul of the law in Aceh, Indonesia’s western-most province, ruled as it is under that unique legal system known as Sharia law.
In northern Sumatra Islamic law, aka Sharia, rules in morality matters which means happy homosexuals, the polyamorous, indeed anyone from the 2SLGBTQ+ community, as well as boozers, may be publicly caned.
The caning is administered by a specially designated group of religious police known as the Wilayatul Hisbah.
These designated enforcers, wearing drab brown robes from crown to toe with slits for their eyes cut out, administer the lashes using a rattan cane. The strokes are directed at the offender’s back and, according to witnesses, the enforcers strike with a terrific force, powered I suppose by the righteousness of the holy.
The number of lashes specified by the court is usually carried out in a series of sets or rounds.
Anyway, you’ll remember four weeks ago the story of an Australian surfer who was facing a helluva storm after being arrested following a wild melee outside the exclusive Moon Beach resort on the Sumatran island of Simeulue.
Bodhi Mani Risby-Jones, who is twenty-three and from the Queensland holiday hamlet Noosa, was “accused of an alcohol-fuelled, naked rampage outside a beachside resort that left a passer-by in hospital and prompted an angry mob of residents to threaten to burn down the hotel.”
The island’s head cop Jatmiko said Risky-Jones had been drinking vodka before emerging from his room naked.
“The security man attempted to stop him but got hit at the neck and fell down,” alleged Jatmiko. “He then went on to the street and disturbed passers-by. He hit almost everyone who was on the street.”
Risby-Jones is also accused of hitting a motorbike rider and throwing the moto onto him after he fell into a gutter. The resulting leg wound, says the cop, needed fifty stitches.
In retaliation, furious onlookers then tried to burn down the resort.
A very bad situation for the kid, although the matter has now been resolved after Rigby-Jones agreed to pay the injured moto-rider twenty-five thousand Australian dollars or the equivalent of two-years salary for the man.
Along with the twenty-five gees Risby-Jones and the Moon Beach Resort have to pay for a special “cleansing ceremony” that will involve the spectacular public slaughter of a goat, thirty kilograms of rice and spices, all of which will come out of his pocket.
According to village chief Suhardi Fleno, the hotel in which Risby-Jones stayed, the Moon Beach Resort, is equally to blame and must restore balance to the community.
“Besides restorative justice I’d like to explain that we have a tradition here which we will do,” he said. “It is called peusijuek, meaning we must have peace with the party that we have a problem with to prevent the same problem from recurring. It’s between the village and the resort. We don’t care if Bodhi gives the money to the resort [for the goat]. But we do care about the resort and our village. Bodhi is just a guest at the resort and the guests can come and go. We must slaughter a goat.”
“Staying in an Indonesian cell for a month is hard for the body and for mental [state], but considering everything, I think my health is doing good,” a shackled Rigby-Jones told ABC.
If all goes to plan, kid will be back in Noosa in two weeks.