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Horribly Abused Baby Orangutan Experiences Affection For The First Time on the Road to Recovery: VIDEO

BUDI

If there’s anything that can bring a tear to the eye of cynical LiveLeak commenters, its the mere suggestion of animal abuse.

This video of baby orangutan Budi is particularly hard to watch.

Rescued by International Animal Rescue (IAR) in Indonesia, for the first year of his life Budi was kept in a chicken cage and fed on nothing but condensed milk which was slowly killing him.

On arrival at IAR, Budi was in a critical condition, showed signs of severe malnutrition and screamed in pain every time he was moved by vets.

Budi is on the long road to recovery but IAR needs your donations.

Watch Budi at IAR, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Horribly Abused Baby Orangutan Experiences Affection For The First Time on the Road to Recovery: VIDEO" »


Search for Missing AirAsia Jet Suspended as Night Falls: VIDEO

Airasia

The search for an AirAsia flight that disappeared midway through its flight from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore on Saturday has been suspended for the night, BBC reports:

FlightAirAsia's Chief Executive Tony Fernandes, who has flown to Surabaya, said: "We don't want to speculate but right now of course the plane has been missing for 12 hours and there's a deep sense of depression here."

The flight left Surabaya in eastern Java at 05:35 local time (22:35 GMT) and was due to arrive in Singapore at 08:30 (00:30 GMT).

The missing jet had requested a "deviation" from the flight path to avoid thick storm clouds, AirAsia said.

ABC News adds:

The flight manifest for the jet showed there were 155 passengers on board plus seven crew members, although the Indonesian transport ministry only reported six crew members.

Of the passengers, 149 were Indonesians, three were South Korean, and there was one traveler each from Malaysia, Singapore and the United Kingdom, according to AirAsia.

AirAsia said the crew members consisted of six Indonesians and one person from France.

Watch an ABC News report on the story, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Search for Missing AirAsia Jet Suspended as Night Falls: VIDEO" »


Gay in Aceh, Indonesia? Brace for 100 Lashes in Front of a Jeering Crowd

Aceh

BY PATRICK WINN / GlobalPost

The Indonesian province is also now authorized to punish homosexuality with 100 months in jail or 1,000 grams of gold.

BANGKOK, Thailand — One of Southeast Asia’s strictest Islamic enclaves just got a lot more hostile to same-sex couples.

In Aceh, the most orthodox corner of Muslim-majority Indonesia, gay sex is now punishable by 100 lashes. On a public stage. By a cane-wielding figure clad head-to-ankles in dark brown robes (with a yellow decorative fringe).

CaningThe sting of a rattan cane is only part of the punishment. Aceh’s officials admit the primary objective is shame. That’s why they invite crowds to jeer and gawk and excitedly count off the lashings meted out to men and women accused of petty crimes.

Sound archaic?

That’s the point.

The lashings are administered under Sharia law, a moral code dictated in the Quran that dates back the seventh century. Aceh’s modern-day whipping sessions are meant to play out as they did in ancient times — only with teenagers recording the beatings on their iPhones.

In the 12th century, Aceh was among the first places of Asia to absorb Islam from seafaring Arabs. Today, the far-flung province remains proudly orthodox. It’s the only territory in Indonesia that enforces Sharia law, which forbids alcohol, premarital romance and women in tight jeans.

Under a newly revised interpretation of Sharia law in Aceh, gay sex is now explicitly criminalized and punishable by 100 lashes or 100 months in jail. Officials can also demand 1,000 grams of pure gold (roughly $39,000) if they catch same-sex couples in the act. Male-on-male anal sex and women “rubbing body parts for stimulation” are explicitly outlawed.

In recent years, Aceh’s officials have ramped up their anti-gay rhetoric. A popular deputy mayor has proclaimed homosexuality a “social disease.” A former Sharia police chief noted that, technically, lesbians can be beheaded and tossed in the sea.

The fact that officials restrain from Sharia’s harshest punishments — like stoning — is cited as proof that Aceh’s take on Islamic punishment is actually lenient.

Public lashings in Aceh typically don’t leave lawbreakers crippled and gushing blood. As Aceh’s former Sharia police chief Khalidin previously explained to GlobalPost: “It’s not about pain. It’s about humiliation.”

Still, some who are sentenced to lashings refuse to surrender their pride. Instead, they puff out their chests defiantly as they’re being lashed — all to prove they’ve got the guts to take a beating.

One hulking man whipped for gambling in September stepped on stage, potbelly exposed, and tried to yank away the cane while being lashed. The crowd roared with approval.

Other caning sentences are far more degrading.

Earlier this year, eight male vigilantes stormed into a 25-year-old woman’s home and caught her with a married man. Then they gang raped her and doused her body in sewage. Though the men were charged with rape in criminal court, according to the Jakarta Globe, authorities decided the rape victim was still guilty of infidelity and subject to a public whipping.

In Aceh, these appeals to hard-line Islamic purity are similar to US politicians extolling a return to “family values.” Rhetoric about old-fashioned religious morality appeal to the base. In recent years, Islamic authorities have openly complained that Aceh’s existing interpretation of Sharia only covers unmarried males and females in close proximity — leaving a loophole allowing for gay romance.

That loophole is now closed.

FreeacehmopvementMany among the current crop of leaders trace their roots to Free Aceh Movement, a separatist guerrilla faction that fought the Indonesian army for three decades.

In 2001, the Indonesian government granted Sharia law to Aceh in hopes of winning over Islamists who were otherwise sympathetic to the rebellion. After the guerrillas negotiated for peace in 2005, they transformed into politicians and retained the popular Islamic laws.

Indonesia’s human rights advocates are deeply horrified at the harsh codes against homosexuality. It’s “as if we’re going back hundreds of years,” according to Chika Noya, an Indonesian gay rights activist interviewed by the Jakarta Globe. Another activist insisted the punishment belongs in the Middle Ages.

“Gays and lesbians are human beings also,” said a female Indonesian lecturer from Aceh in an interview with GlobalPost. “Who are we to go against God’s creations?”

But she conceded that “those who are against it are the minority.” Hardliners have become so emboldened in Aceh, she said, that publishing her name, employer and pro-gay stance could bring on serious repercussions.

“It is hard for people like me in this community to say openly that we’re against it,” the lecturer said. “Because people will say we’re against what the holy book and God says ... and that means, in their interpretation, they can kill us.”

(bottom image: Kementerian Pertahanan Republik Indonesia (Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Indonesia - wikimedia commons)


Indonesian Sharia Province May Punish Gay Sex With 100 Lashes

Caning aceh indonesia

Politicians in Aceh province, Indonesia, are considering passing a new law that will punish gay sex with 100 lashes, reports Malaysian Digest.

Aceh is the only part Indonesia to enforce Islamic Sharia law, which is has been slowly implementing since 2001.

The draft law, which also punishes adultery with 100 lashes of the cane, would criminalize anal sex between men and "the rubbing of body parts between women for stimulation.” It would also apply Islamic laws and punishments to non-Muslims.

Aceh Party's Ramli Sulaiman, who heads the commission that drafted the law, said:

"We have studied the implementation of sharia in countries like Saudi Arabia, Brunei Darussalam and Jordan to draft this law and we are happy with it.”

Amnesty International has expressed concern over the bylaw and has said that caning goes against international laws on torture and rights, as well as Indonesia's own constitution.


The Gay Rights Push (And Push Back) In Southeast Asia: VIDEO

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For one day in June, the tiny city-state of Singapore brims with bright pink clothing, banners, and festivities to mark the annual "Pink Dot" gathering, a celebration in support of inclusiveness, diversity and the freedom to love. This year's celebration, the fifth such event, was the biggest so far; at 21,000 people it was the largest civil-society gathering in Singapore history.     

But for all Pink Dot's success, the Singapore government's official ambivalence regarding gay rights reflects a common hesitation among Southeast Asian countries when faced with this new notion of human sexuality. Like our own 50 state variety of attitudes towards LGBT rights, some Southeast Asian countries are beginning to take their first hesitant steps towards equality, while others seem to be reinforcing their disapproval of homosexuality.

Continue, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "The Gay Rights Push (And Push Back) In Southeast Asia: VIDEO" »


Indonesia: No Porn During Holy Month

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Happy Ramadan to you! Sadly, it will be a sweaty and restless Ramadan in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, for Indonesian Information Technology Minister Tifatul Sembiring shall attempt to eliminate the viewing of online porn during the holy month:

“As this is the Ramadhan fasting month, we need to strengthen our efforts,” ... Sembiring told reporters at a press conference at the ministry on Wednesday. 

Tifatul, known for his antics such as claiming he was “forced” to shake the hand of US First Lady Michelle Obama during a visit to Jakarta, said that the crackdown would focus on local Internet service providers (ISP).

The viewing of porn is always illegal in Indonesia, thanks to the 2008 Pornography Law -- which outlawed both pornography and "pornoaction," which may include kissing one's spouse, wearing bikinis, or the baring of a lady's shoulder -- but, according to The Jakarta Post, porn is especially dangerous during Ramadan:

[According to Ashwin Sasongko, the "director for informatics applications" at the Communication and Information Ministry,] the crackdown was launched for the benefit of Muslims, who were expected to refrain from sexual intercourse during daylight hours during Ramadhan, among other things.

“We are responsible for protecting the younger generation from consuming destructive pornographic content on the internet,” Ashwin said.

“This is really important especially ahead of Ramadhan. We hope that Muslims can fast peacefully,” Ashwin added.

At least one million pornographic websites have been blocked in Indonesia so far. There are at least one million more to go, according to te Communication and Information Ministry, though their math may be untrustworthy -- the Ministry also claims to have received "at least" 100 million complaints about online pornography in the last year, which equals rather a lot of Indonesians Googling pages they don't want to see. (The year before, the Ministry reported just over 800 such complaints.)

The Global Post notes that some Indonesians have been unable to resist porn's evil allure, including at least one Indonesian in Tifatul Sembiring's own political party:

... Tifatul's views are significantly more conservative than the norm in Indonesia, where voters have time and again offered only scant support to his fundamentalist Prosperous Justice Party ... Last year, a parliamentarian with the party resigned after fellow lawmakers caught him watching porn on his mobile phone.

In parliament.

The Jakarta Post notes a Google report that Indonesia ranks third in the world in internet users seeking pornography, behind only China and, for some reason, Turkey. 


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