Orangutan mother blinded by air gun pellets in Indonesia
SIBOLANGIT, Indonesia (AP) — An orangutan mother has been blinded after being shot with at least 74 air gun pellets on Indonesia's Sumatra island, where threats to the endangered species have...
Indonesia rescues 20 Muslim Rohingya adrift off Aceh
KUALA IDI, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian fishermen rescued a wooden boat carrying 20 hungry, weak Rohingya Muslims on Tuesday after it was found adrift off Indonesia's northernmost province of Aceh, an official said.
The group of men and boys was discovered on the rickety boat about 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) off the coast, said Syahrial, the head of East Aceh's local disaster mitigation office.
113 inmates escape from Indonesian prison during prayer time
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) — More than 100 inmates escaped from a prison in western Indonesia after overpowering a guard during prayer time, police said Friday.
The break occurred late Thursday at the Lambaro penitentiary when all 720 inmates were let out of their cells to take part in evening prayers, said Trisno Riyanto, police chief in Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh province.
Aceh region bans unmarried couples at same table in cafes
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) — A district in Indonesia's deeply conservative Aceh province has banned unmarried couples from sitting at the same table in restaurants, cafes or coffee shops, an official said Wednesday.
The head of Bireuen district's Islamic affairs office, Jufliwan, said the measure also forbids restaurants, cafes and coffee shops from serving female customers after 9 p.m. if they are not accompanied by their husbands, fathers, brothers, or other close relatives.
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's deeply conservative Muslim province of Aceh on Friday publicly caned 15 people found guilty of violating Shariah law, despite pledging not to carry out the punishment in public.
Several hundred people including a group of tourists from Malaysia watched the caning after Friday prayers outside the Baiturrahim Mosque in the provincial capital, Banda Aceh.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's anti-graft commission has arrested the governor of conservative Aceh province on suspicion of receiving bribes, an official said Wednesday.
Irwandi Yusuf was among 10 people arrested Tuesday evening in separate locations in Aceh, said Febri Diansyah, spokesman for the Corruption Eradication Commission.
Indonesian oil well fire kills 18 people, injures dozens
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A newly drilled unregulated oil well in western Indonesia exploded into flames early Wednesday, burning 18 people to death and injuring dozens of others.
National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the well in Pasir Putih village in eastern Aceh province ignited at about 1:30 a.m. and firefighters were still struggling to extinguish the flames late in the afternoon. Five nearby houses were engulfed by the inferno.
BIREUEN, Indonesia (AP) — A Rohingya Muslim man among a group of 76 rescued in a wooden boat in Indonesian waters says they were at sea for nine days after leaving Myanmar, where the minority group faces intense persecution, and were hoping to reach Malaysia.
BIREUEN, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian fishermen rescued 76 Rohingya Muslims stranded off the coast of Aceh on Friday, authorities said, in the latest attempt by members of the persecuted ethnic group to flee Myanmar by sea.
Tthe group of eight children, 25 women and 43 men was brought ashore in their wooden boat Friday afternoon. It was unclear how long they had been at sea, said Riza Yulianto, the police chief of Bireuen regency in Aceh on the island of Sumatra.
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's deeply conservative Aceh province on Friday caned several unmarried couples for showing affection in public and two women for prostitution before an enthusiastic audience of hundreds.
The canings were possibly the last to be done before large crowds in Aceh after the province's governor announced earlier this month that the punishments would be moved indoors.
Indonesia’s Aceh to take caning indoors after backlash
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's conservative Aceh province will no longer allow canings for violations of Shariah law to be carried out in public, its governor said Thursday, apparently in response to international condemnation of the caning last year of two men for gay sex that damaged Indonesia's moderate image.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's navy has seized a fishing boat carrying 20 crewmembers, including 14 Indonesians believed to be trafficking victims who were forced to work for years without pay, officials said Monday.
Maritime and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti said a navy ship intercepted the STS-50 about 60 miles (95 kilometers) from Weh Island in Aceh province last Friday, a day after a tip from Interpol saying the vessel was heading to Indonesian waters.
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) — The conservative Indonesian province of Aceh known for publicly caning gays, adulterers and gamblers is considering the introduction of beheading as a punishment for murder, a top Islamic law official said Wednesday.
Syukri M. Yusuf, the head of Aceh's Shariah Law and Human Rights Office, said the provincial government has asked his office to research beheading as a method of execution under Islamic law and to consult public opinion.
Indonesia police probe Aceh abuse of transgender women
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) — Muslims in Indonesia's conservative and semiautonomous Aceh province protested an investigation into local police who rounded up and publicly humiliated transgender women.
Several hundred people rallied outside the Baiturrahman Grand Mosque in the provincial capital after Friday prayers, carrying banners the read "LGBT is not Aceh local wisdom" and "Free Aceh from transvestites."
AirAsia to crew Aceh flights with men only after hijab rule
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Budget airline AirAsia said its flights to Indonesia's conservative Aceh province will have only male cabin crew after Acehnese authorities insisted female flight attendants wear head coverings.
Other airlines have said they will comply and require female crew to cover their heads on flights to the Shariah-law practicing province.
AirAsia Indonesia's corporate secretary Baskoro Adiwiyono said Friday that the airline was ensuring its flights adhere to regulations.
Beached whales led out to sea off Indonesia’s Aceh but 4 die
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) — Four of 10 whales that beached off Indonesia's Aceh province have died because of injuries and exhaustion, a fisheries official said Tuesday.
The sperm whales became stranded Monday at Ujong Kareng beach and attracted hundreds of onlookers who posed for pictures with them.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Five Indonesian provinces have declared states of emergency as peatlands burn in Aceh and the risk of fires spreading elsewhere increases during the annual dry season, an official said Wednesday.
National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said 18 helicopters have been deployed to help extinguish fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan.
Satellite images show that the number of fires increased from 150 on Sunday to 179 on Tuesday, he said.
BERLIN (AP) — The United Nations' human rights office is calling on Indonesian authorities to release people detained on the basis of their sexual orientation and combat anti-gay stigma.
Spokesman Rupert Colville said in Geneva on Friday that the office is "concerned by the recent persecution, arbitrary arrest, detention and ill-treatment of men perceived to be gay."
A first-ever ruling in favor of same-sex marriage in Asia. A public caning in Indonesia. A soldier convicted in South Korea.
For LGBT rights, it was one step forward, two steps back this week in Asia, where traditional values often clash with modern views on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) — Two men in Indonesia's Aceh province were publicly caned dozens of times Tuesday for consensual gay sex, a punishment that intensifies an anti-gay backlash in the world's most populous Muslim country and which rights advocates denounced as "medieval torture."
More than a thousand people packed the courtyard of a mosque to witness the caning, which was the first time that Aceh, the only province in Indonesia to practice Shariah law, has caned people for homosexuality.
Gay Couple Publicly Caned in Indonesia
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) — An Islamic Shariah court in Indonesia's conservative Aceh province has sentenced two gay men to public caning for the first time, further undermining the country's moderate image after a top Christian politician was imprisoned for blasphemy.
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) — Shariah prosecutors in Indonesia's Aceh province say two men on trial for gay sex should each be punished with 80 lashes, in another blow to the country's moderate image after a top Christian official was imprisoned for blasphemy.
The lead prosecutor, Gulmaini, who goes by one name, said Wednesday the two men aged 20 and 23 had "confessed" to being in a gay relationship, which was supported by video footage and other evidence found in their rented room.
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) — Two men in Indonesia's conservative Aceh province each face up to 100 strokes of the cane after neighbors reported them to Islamic religious police for having gay sex.
Marzuki, the Shariah police's chief investigator, said Saturday that if found guilty, the men will be the first to be caned for gay sex under a new code implemented two years ago.
Quakes rock area of Indonesian province devastated in Dec
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Two earthquakes rocked an area of Indonesia's Aceh province devastated by a quake in December, damaging houses and causing injuries.
The quakes measured at magnitude 5.1 and 5.6 by the United States Geological Survey hit in quick succession not long after 3 a.m. Thursday.
The Indonesian Red Cross said two houses collapsed in Pidie Jaya near the epicenter and at least nine people were injured in Trianggadeng district.
At least 45,000 homeless after Aceh quake in Indonesia
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — At least 45,000 people have been displaced by the powerful earthquake that hit Indonesia's Aceh province, authorities said Saturday, as the government and aid agencies pooled efforts to meet the basic survival needs of shaken communities.
At least 43,000 homeless after Aceh quake in Indonesia
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — At least 43,000 people have been displaced by the powerful earthquake that hit Indonesia's Aceh province, authorities said Saturday, as the government and aid agencies pooled efforts to meet the basic survival needs of shaken communities.
The estimate of the number of homeless people continues to grow while relief efforts fan out across the three districts near the epicenter of Wednesday's magnitude 6.5 quake, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency said in a statement
Indonesia president visits quake survivors, vows to rebuild
TRINGGADING, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's president traveled Friday to areas of Aceh province devastated by a magnitude 6.5 earthquake and vowed that torn-apart communities would be rebuilt.
Stopping at a collapsed mosque in Tringgading not far from the quake's epicenter, Joko "Jokowi" Widodo gave out envelopes stuffed with 15 million rupiah ($1,125) — a small fortune in Aceh where the minimum wage is about 2 million rupiah ($150) a month — to people whose family members were killed.
Aid groups descend on Indonesia quake zone; deaths reach 102
MEUREUDU, Indonesia (AP) — Humanitarian organizations descended on Indonesia's Aceh province Thursday as the local disaster agency called for urgent food supplies and officials raced to assess the full extent of damage from an earthquake that killed more than 100 people.
The Latest: Pope prays for victims of Indonesia quake
MEUREUDU, Indonesia (AP) — The Latest on a magnitude 6.5 earthquake that hit Indonesia's Aceh province on Wednesday (all times local):
AP PHOTOS: Indonesian towns reel from earthquake devastation
PIDIE JAYA, Indonesia (AP) — Damage from the earthquake that shook Indonesia's Aceh province on Wednesday is extensive in towns near the epicenter. A market was leveled, and other buildings reduced to chunks of cement and twisted rebar.
Indonesia quake stirs grim memories for tsunami survivors
MEUREUDU, Indonesia (AP) — Now, thousands of people in Indonesia's Aceh province have two horrifying stories to tell.
Living through the Dec. 26, 2004, earthquake and tsunami that killed more than 100,000 in Aceh made Wednesday's magnitude 6.5 quake all the more terrifying. There was no tsunami this time but more than 100 deaths, hundreds of buildings destroyed and thousands of people made homeless.
Here are stories from people who survived both natural disasters:
Raw: Search For Indonesia Earthquake Survivors
Rescuers comb Indonesia earthquake rubble for second day
MEUREUDU, Indonesia (AP) — Rescue workers, soldiers and police combed through the rubble of a devastated town in Indonesia's Aceh province Thursday, resuming a search for earthquake survivors that was halted at night by rain and blackouts.
The Latest: Indonesia earthquake death toll rises to 102
MEUREUDU, Indonesia (AP) — The Latest on a magnitude 6.5 earthquake in Indonesia's Aceh province (all times local):
Rescue Teams Search For Survivors of Aceh Quake
Raw: Indonesia Earthquake Kills Dozens
Earthquake rocks Indonesia’s Aceh province; at least 25 dead
BIREUEN, Indonesia (AP) — A strong undersea earthquake rocked Indonesia's Aceh province early on Wednesday, killing at least 25 people and causing dozens of buildings to collapse.
A frantic rescue effort involving dozens of villagers, soldiers and police was underway in Meureudu, a severely affected town in Pidie Jaya district. Three excavators were trying to remove debris from shop houses where three people were believed buried, said Suyatno, who heads Aceh's search and rescue agency.
The Latest: Death toll in quake rises to 25 in 1 district
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — The Latest on a magnitude-6.4 earthquake in Indonesia's Aceh province (all times local):
The chief of the district nearest the epicenter of a shallow 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck Indonesia's Aceh province early Wednesday says 25 people have been killed in that district alone.