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5/13/2006

when religious laws take over the country

Housewive ‘I am not a prostitute’ Indonesian moral guardians pick up frightened lady on street with 28 others, including 63-year-old woman. Amy Chew. Reuters May 12, 2006 "PROSTITUTE!" shouted the jeering crowds as a frightened housewife was led out to a show trial enforcing a controversial morality by-law. The evening before, on Feb 27, Lilies Lindawati was detained by officials of Tangerang, 35km west of here, while waiting for a bus home after dark, an offence under the local authority’s anti-prostitution regulations. With Lilies in tow, the officers went on to round up 28 other women. A 63-year-old woman buying rambutan on the roadside was arrested, as were two young girls eating at a stall. They were bundled off to City Hall where they were held for a night and brought to trial the next morning. "There is lipstick and compact powder in your bag. That means you are a prostitute," said the judge, who spoke through a microphone at a makeshift court on the City Hall grounds. Crying, Lilies replied that it was common for women to carry lipstick and compact powder. "But he refused to accept my explanation," said Lilies as she sat on the floor of her one-bedroom house, which she shares with her husband and two children.... Lilies was fined 300,000 rupiah (S$54). She could not pay the fine and was sent to jail with nine other women who also could not afford the fine. This is what can happen what religion takes over in the running of a country and when religious freaks passed themselves around as the agents of god.

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